Latin American leaders have strongly voiced their opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat of military action in Venezuela. Unfortunately, they have done little to help the Venezuelan people as the humanitarian and political crisis in the country has continued to deteriorate.
Adjunct professor Rossana Esteva Coronado gave some insight into the calamity her home country is experiencing.
“Unemployment is increasing and so is crime. People are hungry so we got robbed many times, my car was stolen,” Esteva Coronado said. “I have many stories, and each time I go back home to visit my parents, everything is getting worse and worse.”
Esteva Coronado came to the United States with her husband in December 2012 and has been at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for three years, first as a graduate assistant and now as an adjunct Spanish professor.
Esteva Coronado said that her mother, who is a surgeon in Venezuela, now has to carry her own equipment and gloves with her at all times because medical care and gear is in such short supply
“My mother is 60 years old and she does not want to go to the U.S. because she does not speak English and would not be able to be a surgeon here,” Esteva Coronado said. “She has to buy her own gloves and bring them to work and carry a box with her all the time because if she leaves the gloves unattended someone may steal them.”
Esteva Coronado became emotional as she described her sadness and frustration over the treatment of the Venezuelan people.
“For the last few months more than 100 people have died. It is written in our constitution that we have the right to protest, but they are being killed,” Esteva Coronado said. “The military is just killing them with this tear gas that is supposed to be legal, but they are throwing them in a way that is killing people when it hits their chest and heads.”
She said that since former President Chavez confiscated all private media outlets, lies have been easily spread by the government and the protesters have turned to social media to be heard.
“Since all these people are protesting in the streets, finally the world is hearing,” Esteva Coronado said. “I don’t know if Donald Trump is going to do something about it, but at least he’s already said something.Before that no one was helping us, no one even tried.”
The Venezuelan people are standing against their own tyrannical government, and the rest of the world has watched from a distance and hoped for a quiet and peaceful end to struggle that has been slowly killing an already fragile democracy.
Mass protests, famine, crime, a rising unemployment rate and a tyrannical government, Venezuela is in turmoil, and it’s about time the world took notice.
There is not much UNO students can do to help the Venezuelan people, Esteva Coronado said that the government has closed customs making it impossible to send food, humanitarian aid or medicine into the country. However, there is one thing students can do.
“Spread the word and talk about the situation in Venezuela, let people know that we need help,” Esteva Coronado said.