The World Must Allow the Venezuelan People To Take Back Their Freedom

Juan Guaido, who declared himself Venezuela's interim president, speaks to supporters during a rally against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Juan Guaido, who declared himself Venezuela's interim president, speaks to supporters during a rally against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

“This is an uprising by the Venezuelan people to regain their freedom and take back their country from the regime that stole it from them.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), Marion Smith, has issued the following statement:

“The crisis in Venezuela is entering its 11th hour. President Juan Guaidó has marshalled millions of peaceful protesters and called on the military to stand with the Venezuelan people and stop propping up the socialist dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. As we have heard directly from sources in Venezuela over the past 24 hours, many officers have already pledged support to President Guaidó, even as the Ministry of Defense has reaffirmed its support for the regime. They can no longer deny that Maduro has driven Venezuela to its knees.

“Let’s be clear: This is not a coup. The real coup happened in 2018, when Maduro stole the country’s presidential election. This is an uprising by the Venezuelan people to regain their freedom and take back their country from the regime that stole it from them.”

“America must make it clear that there will be severe consequences if Maduro arrests President Guaidó or violently suppresses the peaceful protests. We are aware that Maduro is calling on the armed Colectivo groups he controls to attack the protestors. There must also be consequences for Russia and Communist Cuba if they don’t immediately withdraw their military assets from Venezuela. Finally, the United States and the free world must speak with one voice, saying: The Venezuelan people deserve the right to take back their freedom and end the tyranny.”

For more information or to set up an interview with Marion Smith, please contact Jonathan Fernandez at jonathan.fernandez@victimsofcommunism.org or call at (202) 629-9500.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a Washington-based, non-profit educational and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes. VOC was authorized by an unanimous act of Congress on December 17, 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton.

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