The U.S. Must Support the Venezuelan People, Never Closer to Freedom
The crisis in Venezuela has entered the 11th hour.
After months of protests involving millions of people, Interim President Juan Guaidó has called on Venezuela’s military and civilians to support the freedom movement and stop propping up the socialist dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. Maduro calls this a “coup,” but it’s actually a citizen uprising to take back power. The real coup happened when he stole the 2018 presidential election. Now the Venezuelan people are standing up to restore their freedom and regain control of their country.
Police forces are using military equipment to attack unarmed protesters. We have heard from Venezuelans that Maduro is mobilizing the so-called “colectivos.” These are armed paramilitary gangs, loyal to the regime, that rule key neighborhoods with fear and violence. It appears that Maduro is gearing up for the most violent crackdown since he took power six years ago.
The United States cannot let this happen.
The Venezuelan people never have been closer to regaining their freedom. In this late stage, the United States must continue to support them and rally the rest of the free world to do the same.
At the time of publishing, Marion Smith was executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Originally published in The Hill.