In the U.S.
On Sunday, in occasion of the commemoration of 53 years since the overthrow of Venezuelan dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez, Venezuelan and Latin American groups showed their support for the democratic government of President Hugo Chávez in different U.S. cities. The demonstrations took place as a response to the call made by the Venezuelan opposition to protest against the Venezuelan government in different cities around the world.
One of the Latin Americans who showed her support for the Venezuelan government was Sonia Umanzor, “I’m Salvadorian, I lived in war times, I lived in a dictatorship, I was subjected to persecution, I saw a lot of people dying next to me when we went to protests, so what dictatorship is the Venezuelan opposition talking about?”, she asked.
In spite of the strong calls by the Venezuelan opposition to protest in different cities around the world, only in Miami was a meaningful group of supporters mobilized. The Venezuelan ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Roy Chaderton, told the press that the failure in gathering people for the protest should call attention considering that it was massively promoted by international media and via social networks. Nevertheless, the protest did not produce results.
Mirna Lascano, a Venezuelan sociologist who lives in Boston, also remarked on the “extremely low” attendance to the call made by the Venezuelan opposition. She also highlighted the democratic quality of the Venezuelan government. “It has to be understood who these opposition groups represent. They are controlled by interests, by those who lost power with the process of social reforms taking place in Venezuela. Those groups are fighting to recover power, so they try to internationally discredit the Venezuelan government,” assured Lascano.
“There is no doubt of the democratic features of the Venezuelan government because there are not only free and transparent elections every six years, but there is a constant process of participation by all Venezuelan citizens,” said the Venezuelan sociologist.
In front of the Simón Bolívar equestrian statue located in New York City’s Central Park, a small group of Venezuelans and Cubans gathered to question the alleged decline of Venezuelan democracy. The Venezuelan consul in New York, Carol Delgado, talked to them along with a group of Venezuelans who support President Chávez.
“Today, January 23, I want to communicate to my Venezuelan fellows not to let themselves be manipulated. Open your eyes and see how in Venezuela there’s an opposition that democratically debates in the National Assembly, that we have full separation of powers and an Electoral Power which guarantees secret, transparent and democratic elections in a country where democracy is consolidated more and more,” Delgado highlighted.
Unlike the type of Latin American migration to the U.S., Venezuelan immigrants in this country are mainly middle- and upper-class professionals.
Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / January 24, 2011