Boston takes to the streets in solidarity with Venezuelans

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With violence escalating in Venezuela, people from all over Latin America living in Boston chose to take matters into their own hands and protest all over the city to help inform different people of the rampant corruption and crimes being committed by the Venezuelan government on its people.

On Feb. 18, over a hundred people gathered along Boylston Street and Charles Street to begin their protest. They chanted “Venezuela,” sang the Venezuelan hymn and played instruments and drums while they walked towards Copley Square.

“We came here to support our Venezuelan brothers in Venezuela,” said one of the protesters as he walked along the line with a camera, organizing the people.

The protestors also recorded videos of themselves while protesting to show the world that they would not take the government’s abuse sitting down.

Protestors rallying in the Public Garden
(Photo by Will Senar)

Some protesters even held signs up that read “WE ARE FROM BOSTON, USA and WE CARE! Pray for Venezuela. We are Your Voice Venezuela.”

One sign even read that there were four students murdered and hundreds more were arrested by the government. Some wore the Venezuelan flag on their backs and held them high to show their support.

Paulina Tamala, a Suffolk University student from Honduras, started an initiative to use social media like Twitter to show Venezuelans their support.

She got different students to write on pieces of paper their country or city of origin accompanied by the words “and I care,” with the hashtags “IMYOURVOICEVENEZUELA” “SOSVENEZUELA” and “PRAYFORVENEZUELA.” She posted them on Twitter to show the world that even though they were not directly affected by the events, they still care because we are a global community.

The protest did not end on that Tuesday night. On Saturday, Feb. 22, protesters once again gathered, this time in Copley Square to once again be the voice of the voiceless.

According to the Boston Globe, the World Bank estimates that in 2012, over 25 percent of Venezuelans live below the poverty line, although that number has dwindled down since 2008.

In an interview with the Globe, event attendee Christina Aguilera shared her thoughts, “A lot of Venezuelans have made Boston their home because they have to run from the crime and the scarcity, we want to show the communities that have welcomed us that Venezuelans are being killed.”

According to the Globe, as the protests in Venezuela continue, several middle class citizens have joined their fellow Venezuelans in their fight against the government, with people throwing stones and yelling obscenities at their National Guard. They also piled furniture, tree limbs, chain-link fence, sewer grates and washing machines to block roads as an action against the government.

The people have grown frustrated with the shortages of necessities like milk and toilet paper and with the rise in violence and President Maduro’s aggressive response to the public outcry have not made it easier for citizens to tolerate the abuse.

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