Protests in Venezuela: why we protest and how it all started.

How it all started?

During the last week of January a series of robberies happened in some universities of the country, like a massive robbery in the Santa Maria University, the robbery in a full classroom in the Alejandro Humboldt University, the attempted rape of a female student of the University of Los Andes in Tachira. These event led the students in Tachira to start protesting in the streets demanding better security, a group of them where arrested.  After that, students all over the country started to protest for the release of fellow students.

On the 12th of February a group of students organized students marches nationwide to commemorate Youth Day and the Battle of La Victoria and also in favor of the liberty in Venezuela. That day ended with a new group of students arrested, some disappeared and  two students and a government defender were killed by police forces in Caracas.

These were the events that started this massive protest that’s been going on for 22 days in Venezuela. This is the count as of today: 1030 students arrested, 34 tortured, thousands of people injured and 18 people killed.

Why we protest now?

  • 18 people killed

  • Thousands of people injured

  • Venezuela’s Inflation Rate Is 56%. We have the highest  inflation rate in the WORLD!
  • Venezuela is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. We leave our houses every morning not knowing if we’re going to come back, it may seem like an exaggeration but it’s not, it’s the absolute truth.
  • The liberation of political prisoners Ivan Simonovis (10 years), Leopoldo Lopez (15 days) and more.

 

  • Venezuela’s food shortage. Empty stores and supermarkets, that results in Venezuelan people having to make extremely long lines to try to buy food in the few places that have it.

  

  • Drug and equipment shortages in Hospitals

The image says:  “Venezuelan doctor: I don’t have antibiotics, I don’t have gloves, I don’t have gauze pads, I don’t have blood, I’m not a fascist, I want change. SOS Venezuela”

  •  Media blackout. We don’t have the freedom of information anymore, all of the private tv channels are being censored by the government and the public channels belong to them. Colombia-based news channel NTN24 was removed from cable signal after it broadcast live coverage of the violence going on in the streets. CNN and social media is all we have, and they are trying to censor that too.

I’m sorry if I bothered anyone with this post but this is all we have right now to inform the world what is going on here, what we’re living here and how we’re living here. I want you to please help us spread the word that we’re living in an dictatorship and that we’re fighting for our freedom.

#SOSVenezuela #PrayForVenezuela

Jenn

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Social media and human interactions

Yesterday I started reading a novel called “Socially Awkward” by Stephanie Haddad. It's about a Sociology student who often finds herself wishing she led a more exciting life, so she channels her life's desires into her graduate research program: a fake Facebook profile that allows her to study the world's reaction to perceived beauty… Interesting, right? I thought so too. I don't know if that's been done as a method of research before, but fake profiles in social media sites are very common nowadays.

There are people who create fake profiles on the web because they feel more confident without the 'face to face' communication because it allows them to act and say things they wouldn't normally do or say. And also if they are unhappy with the way they look the Internet kind of removes the possibility of being judged based on their looks because they can easily use photoshop to airbrush a picture of themselves to impress others…. I have to be honest and say that even I have done it, not creating a fake profile but a fake personality for a couple hours in a chat room on a boring day. Sometimes it's fun to be someone else, there's no harm in that, unless you get caught up in that fake life and you start to lose yourself, or you play with people's feelings like in that MTV show 'Catfish'.

On the other side is the people who create fake profiles to cyber bully others. It's well known that anonymity increases the possibility of people behaving badly and gives them the courage to be rude, hurtful or thoughtless on what they say to other people without the fear of consequences. And this is a horrible thing because they don't know how their victim is feeling or what they are thinking, what they're going through, if they are mentally stable or if that's the push they needed to end their lives. It's scary how 'normal' (that's probably not the right term) cyber bullying has become these days, it's getting bigger and bigger the number of teens involved in it as a bully, a victim or a bystander.

The point that I want to make with this post is that on the Internet everything is not what it seems, the people who you meet on the web could be someone else entirely, people who you think that are your friends could end up being the ones bullying you on media sites, we need to be more careful. But remember that there are also good people out on the interwebs, sometimes we just need to trust them.

I haven't finished reading that book, Jennifer (yeah, we share the same name!) is still working on her project and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next, I'll let you know how that ends… In the meantime, I want to know if you or anyone close to you have been involved in cyber bullying or having a double life.

Talk to you soon,

Jenn