Dueling Venezuela Protests Ask For – and Reject – International Help

The situation in Venezuela has deteriorated in recent days as President Maduro’s government blocked aid shipments and violence occurred at the borders with Colombia and Brazil. In Manhattan, two very different demonstrations took place on Saturday: One asking the international community to intervene to end the country’s humanitarian crisis, and another in support of Maduro and against a possible U.S. military intervention.

Below are excerpts from a story by Noticia Long Island’s Gonzalo Casas:

Venezuelans protesting in Central Park (Photo via Noticia)

A group of Venezuelan residents of New York City, Long Island and New Jersey gathered in Central Park last Saturday to protest against the government of Nicolás Maduro and to ask for the support of the international community in solving the country’s crisis. (…)

The protest was organized by the New York Centro Cívico Venezolano, in a call to raise awareness about their country’s situation.

“[Maduro] is suppressing the people of their freedom. He is not even allowing the entrance of medicines for those who are sick, or food for children and the elderly, so we need to ask the international community to keep supporting us,” said Andrés Prince, director of the Centro Cívico Venezolano.

Below are excerpts from a story by Queens Latino’s Danny Mendoza:

(Photo by Danny Mendoza via Queens Latino)

As part of a series of protests in 130 cities across the world, around 200 people gathered on Saturday outside the Trump Building on Wall Street to demand the U.S. not intervene in Venezuela. Protesters held signs in support of the Bolivarian revolution and President Nicolás Maduro, and chanted “Hands off Venezuela.”

Most protesters were white, there were very few Venezuelans, and not many young people.

“We are defending Venezuela against the U.S.’s imperialistic aggression and the attempts by both Republicans and Democrats to provoke and organize a coup d’état,” said activist Sandor John, of the International Socialist Review.

“The countries supporting [opposition leader Juan] Guaidó are wrong. If our Venezuelan brothers are undergoing hardship it’s because there is an economic blockage,” said Maritza Cordero, from Ecuador, and member of Acción Revolución EEUU/CANADA. “There is really not a scarcity that would justify an intervention in Venezuela.”

“I oppose a U.S. intervention; the only ones who can decide about Venezuela are the Venezuelan people,” said Seth Galinsky, candidate for New York public advocate with the Socialist Workers Party.

(…)

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