FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2017
VENEZUELAN DISSIDENT WUILLY ARTEAGA INJURED BY MADURO THUGS; HUMAN RIGHTS ORG CALLS ON US GOV TO CONDEMN VIOLENCE
“The United States should condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, who continues to be propped up by Cuba’s communist party. We as Americans have a responsibility to ensure that a new communist dictatorship does not become reality before our very eyes.” — Marion Smith
Washington, D.C. – As the protestor death toll in Venezuela passes 100, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) was alarmed to learn that dissident Wuilly Arteaga was injured in the face by buckshot from the Bolivarian National Guard while peacefully playing his violin in the streets. The buckshot narrowly missed his eye, and Wuilly has undergone surgery for his injuries. A criminal investigation into this act of aggression has been opened by lawyers Omar Estacio and Eligio Navarro.
Last month, VOC had presented Wuilly with a new violin to replace the one damaged by the Security Forces, naming it after his slain friend and fellow protestor Armondo Cañizales. VOC Executive Director Marion Smith is in direct contact with Wuilly and others on the ground. He has offered the following statement:
“Every time that Wuilly plays his violin, it is an inspiring act of bravery. We are horrified to learn of the injuries he sustained today while peacefully protesting. This is yet another tragic reminder that Maduro’s regime is waging a war on unarmed protestors, many of whom are young teenagers or adults. Unfortunately, Maduro’s socialist policies have made it difficult and at times impossible for patients to receive necessary health care. As Wuilly begins his recovery, our thoughts and prayers are with him and all those who are victims of the violence perpetuated by Maduro and Cuba’s communist regime.”
Smith added: “The United States must condemn the brutal violence of the Maduro regime, who has detained 3,500 people since the protests began earlier this year, in addition to holding 400 political prisoners captive. We urge US officials to call for the release of all political prisoners and to demand that Cuba withdraw military and intelligence officials from Venezuela immediately. The Castro regime’s imperialism in Latin America should not be tolerated. We as Americans have a responsibility to ensure that a new communist dictatorship does not become reality before our very eyes.”
For more information or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, VOC Executive Director, please contact Ayla at [email protected] or (202) 629.9500.