Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 7th 2017 Contents A8 news
guardian.co.tt Sunday, May 7, 2017
As more and more Venezuelans
flee their country seeking safety and
prosperity in countries across the
world, the truth is they just want
freedom and to go home to a safer
These were the words of Venezuelan
immigrant Heidi Diquez who partici-
pated in an awareness walk yesterday,
along with 150 people.
The walk took place around the
Queen's Park Savannah, and in con-
junction with marches around the world
and in Venezuela.
Diquez told the Sunday Guardian that
the walk was in solidarity with the peo-
ple in Venezuela.
"It happened in many cities. We came
with our families and walked around the
Savannah. The death toll has raised to
37 students who have been killed by the
National Guard," said Diquez.
Diquez said it was about getting to-
gether to show solidarity with Vene-
"We were peaceful and had messag-
es of freedom. It was about raising the
awareness and concern."
"We will see. The most worrying sit-
uation pressingly is that the Opposition
Leader Leopoldo Lopez, who was incar-
cerated two years ago, has gone missing
for the last 30 days."
She said people were requesting the
government show signs of life.
"All Venezuelans want is freedom
and to go back home to a safe country."
In Venezuela, BBC reported that hun-
dreds of women marched in Caracas,
continuing a wave of protests against
the rule of President Nicolas Maduro.
The women, dressed in white and led
by opposition MPs, denounced what
they consider repression by security
The US has also expressed concern
about what UN ambassador Nikki Haley
called a "violent crackdown"
International media reported that at
least 36 people had died and hundreds
have been injured in weeks of protests.
In a statement, Ms Haley accused
Maduro of "disregard for the funda-
mental rights of his own people", which
she said had "heightened the political
and economic crisis in the country"
Meanwhile, the White House said
President Trump's national security
adviser HR McMaster on Friday met
Julio Borges, the president of Vene-
zuela's opposition-controlled National
They discussed the need for the Ven-
ezuelan government to release political
prisoners and hold free and democratic
elections, White House press secretary
Sean Spicer said.
Earlier, a young man was shot dead
in violence in the city of Valencia. In
Caracas an armoured vehicle was caught
on video ploughing into protesters.
"The dictatorship is living its last days
and Maduro knows it," former MP Maria
Corina Machado told AFP news agency
at the women's march.
"That's why there are these unprec-
edented levels of repression."
Demonstrators are angry over what
they describe as Maduro's plans to
amass power in his own hands.
They were particularly incensed by a
recent decree that creates a 500-mem-
ber constituent body to rewrite the
Constitution, a step that would bypass
the National Assembly.
Amid the unrest, youths have been
looting shops in several cities hit hard
by the worsening economic crisis.
An AFP correspondent in the north-
western city of Valencia said it looked
like a disaster zone.
Meanwhile, video posted on social
media purportedly showed the pull-
The women's march was against what they see as repression by security forces against demonstrators. AP PHOTO
ing down of a small statue of Hugo
Chavez in the western town of Ro-
sario de Perija.
Maduro succeeded Mr Chavez,
a popular but divisive leader, who
had introduced wide-ranging so-
cial welfare programmes and died
Since then, falling prices for
Venezuelan oil exports have cut
government revenue and there
have been shortages of food, baby
milk, medicine and other basics.
The International Monetary
Fund has forecast that inflation
in Venezuela will be above 700
per cent this year.
Presidential elections are due at
the end of next year.
against Maduro Psychic Yesenia Gonzales, left, joined other Venezuelans in T&T
yesterday as they took part in a peace march to coincide with protests
against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, where women led by
opposition MPs, denounced what they consider repression by security
forces. PHOTO: KERWIN PIERRE
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