Venezuela has been struggling to maintain control of its people for years now. With a failing economy, people being fed up with the lack of prosperity, and the illegitimacy of President Nicolás Maduro being in office, the country has a lot in common with the US. Yet, the two countries could not be more different.
Currently, Venezuela is having one of the biggest uprisings of its people in decades. They have finally had enough and are willing to risk it all for the chance that things will improve. While a bold strategy, it has been paying off in small bits. The problem is, when it’s not paying off, that’s where the big issues start. This is also why the United Nations is there investigating how they are treating their fellow Venezuelan.
Maduro has been issuing orders to his intelligence services to pass down to lower levels than those attempting to cause a disruption or to stand in opposition to his will would have to be punished. These orders weren’t asking for them to receive a light rapping on the wrist, or to be dragged off the streets to avoid others from hearing their message. That would be too easy and too American for their interests.
Instead, the intelligence service has been committing the most atrocious of acts according to a report from the UN. Marta Valiñas, chair of the UN’s Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela issued a statement about their investigation and the types of orders passed out by Maduro.
“In doing so, grave crimes and human rights violations are being committed, including acts of torture and sexual violence… President Nicolás Maduro, supported by other high-level authorities, stand out as the main architects in the design, implementation, and maintenance of a machinery with the purpose of repressing dissent.”
Given the fact that this mission began back in 2019, you would assume that they would have gathered tons of witnesses and people willing to talk about these atrocities. Given their lack of access to the country, they have only been able to conduct just under 250 interviews in private, and of that 122 people were victims of sexual torture, sexual violence, or other types of cruel and unusual treatment.
They also uncovered 51 cases where the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) was involved in the torture and poor treatment of prisoners. This group was largely made up of opposition politicians, reporters, protesters, and people there in an attempt to defend the human rights of another person.
While yet another small number of cases, the attacks by Sebin were also ordered directly by President Maduro with multiple members reporting directly to him, and only him. The remote southern state of Bolívar was the home to these attacks and cases. Comprised largely of indigenous people, they pose no threat to Maduro. They aren’t trying to force him out of office or tell him what to do. Instead, they just want to be left alone.
He won’t just leave them or anyone else alone. Once President Maduro has made up his mind, that’s all there is to it. He won’t be changing his mind, his ideals, or his mission for anyone. Never mind the fact that his money (the bolivar) is absolutely worthless at this point, and his country is too poor to import much, thus making their inflation even worse.
Considering how little opportunity there is there and how little their money is worth, is it any surprise they are fleeing their country at all costs? Even if it’s only to come here to be kicked out of Martha’s Vineyard after less than 48 hours.