FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 28, 2017
VENEZUELAN DISSIDENT VIOLINIST ARRESTED; HUMAN RIGHTS ORG CALLS FOR HIS RELEASE
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation demands the release of Wuilly Arteaga and the 444 other political prisoners in Venezuela
Washington, D.C. – In response to Venezuelan dissident Wuilly Arteaga’s arrest by government forces in Venezuela, Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), offered the following statement:
“Wuilly Arteaga represents the spirit of the Venezuelan people. Despite being bloodied 6 days ago by police and seeing his fellow freedom fighters arrested around him, Wuilly continued to play his violin in the streets of Caracas. His music valiantly accompanies the chorus of voices demanding a free, democratic Venezuela. Showing his cowardice and illegitimacy, Nicolas Maduro arrested Wuilly and others last night ahead of the sham July 30th elections, which the regime is staging to consolidate its control. Further showing this, Maduro has now banned protests in the lead up to the event for fear of the people making the majority opinion known.”
“In Venezuela, there are currently 444 political prisoners and over 3,500 detainees, many of whom have not even been charged. Sadly, over 100 people have been killed by Maduro’s regime, and right in the open on the streets. Here is where Havana has reared its ugly head: Cuban intelligence officials are running the jails and detention centers where detainees are being subjected to brutal conditions and torture. Like Wuilly, teenagers and young adults make up the bulk of the protesters fighting for a vision of their country inspired by the promise of freedom. Maduro’s regime must release all prisoners immediately and allow the majority opposition to freely determine the future of Venezuela, not Raul Castro and his thugs.”
For more information or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, VOC Executive Director, please contact Ayla at [email protected] or (202) 629.9500.