Maduro’s Venezuelan Fury

VOC’s Latin America Program Officer Ana Leca published an op-ed on Maduro’s Venezuelan fury and the plight of political prisoners in the socialist nation with the National Review.

As Leca writes, The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) recently brought together civil-society leaders from across Latin American for a series of hearings. The hearings on the plight of political prisoners and human-rights defenders in Venezuela hit especially close to home — a home that I fled after it was taken over by socialism, poverty, and oppression.

In the 20th century, Venezuela quickly became one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America after discovering vast oil reserves. That all changed when Hugo Chávez seized power. Elected democratically following a failed military coup, Chávez moved to entrap Venezuela in his socialist system of corruption, greed, and clientelism — or, as he called it, the “Bolivarian Revolution.”

Year by year, the nation that my parents grew up in withered away. When democracy threatened to vote the regime out of power, Chávez changed the electoral system. When Chávez died, his successor, Nicolás Maduro, established rule by decree and quickly launched an “economic war.” The causalities of this conflict were seen in bank accounts and on the dinner table as inflation skyrocketed, the regime cut services, and the people starved.”

Read the full article in the National Review.