Things That Matter

The Streets Of Caracas And Other Major Cities In Venezuela Are Empty Because Of A Nationwide Strike

Venezuela is not moving today due to a nationwide strike against President Nicolás Maduro’s plan to rewrite the country’s constitution. On Sunday, July 16, millions of Venezuelans voted on a nonbinding, symbolic measure denouncing the creation of the National Constituent Assembly. The assembly would be created by the Maduro government and be tasked with rewriting the constitution. The last time this assembly was created was in 1999, when Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela. Chavez  rewrote the constitution and took power away from his political opponents.

Here’s what Venezuela looks and sounds like today during the strike.

Major cities around Venezuela are silent and still today as Venezuelans participate in a an anti-Maduro strike.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has argued that the assembly is an attempt to bring peace to the South American country, which has been devastated by months of sustained protest and clashes between protesters and law enforcement.

From the freeways of Caracas, Venezuela…

#Caracas también activa con el #ParoCívico #Venezuela #20Jul

A post shared by Noticias de Venezuela (@noticiasdevenezuela.0) on

These are the same freeways we have seen packed with protesters since April.

To the surface streets of Merida, some areas of Venezuela are looking like ghost towns.

Centro de la ciudad de #Mérida #ParoNacional

A post shared by Meridaaldia (@meridaaldia) on

Maduro has spoken about the strike and has said that it is failing. He say all the strike is seeking to do is negatively impact Venezuela’s economy, according to ABC News.

One state-run media company is sharing photos and videos of some Venezuelans going to work in support of Maduro.

“Workers of @SarenEnLinea working for a productive and independent Venezuela,” reads the tweet by @VTVcanal8.

However, photos coming from other Venezuelans are painting a different picture, like this photo of Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas…

Courtesy of Miguelangel Hernandez

The Organization of American States Secretary-General Luis Almagro has released a third report about the violence and protests taking place in Venezuela. In the report, Almargo expresses concern over the escalation that could take place if the Maduro government does not change course and listen to the citizens demanding change.

“The fear that is on everyone’s mind, but we are too afraid to speak out loud, is our fear that this will escalate into a bloodbath,” Almargo wrote in his report. “The one thing that is clear is that this regime has no regard for the human rights of its people, or the lives of its citizens. They have already made the decision that 75 lives is a price they are willing to pay to hold onto power. How many more can we, the international community tolerate?”

Or this photo comparing train usage from yesterday to today in Caracas.

El metro de Caracas, ayer y hoy ! Cual paro ? Jajajajaja #Gación !!! #venezuela #paronacional

A post shared by Miguel Angel Barrera (@miguelabarrera) on

Venezuelans set up makeshift road blocks in the early morning hours to disrupt as much as possible during the strike.

Barricada en Macaracuay por paro Nacional. #Venezuela #Protesta #ParoNacional #20Jul #fueramaduro

A post shared by publicidad en redes (@laluchaesgratis2.0) on

“We put up the barricade early, around 5 a.m.The objective is that no one goes to work, that people stay home for 24 hours,” Edmond Fakrhi, a Caracas resident told The Washington Post. “We want liberty. We want democracy. We want everyone to have access to food.”

Some of the roadblocks used fire as a way to deter people from going to work for 24 hours.

The strike has even reached some of the state-run gas stations.

Around 100 people have died protesting the Maduro government since April. More than 7 million Venezuelans worldwide recently cast symbolic, nonbinding votes to denounce the rewriting of the country’s constitution. Several countries and world leaders have come forward urging Maduro to stop to vote on July 30 for the assembly. As July continues, all eyes will be on Venezuela and Maduro.


READ: Politicians Around The World Are Praising The Results Of The Symbolic Vote By Venezuelans

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Venezuelan Rising Star Carmen DeLeon Talks Break-Up Inspired “Pasado” and How Her Abuelos Inspired “Cafecito”

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Venezuelan Rising Star Carmen DeLeon Talks Break-Up Inspired “Pasado” and How Her Abuelos Inspired “Cafecito”

Carmen De Leon is a rising star hailing from Caracas, Venezuela. The 20-year-old singer moved to Tampa, Florida when she was 10 years old and then two years later moved with her family to Barcelona, Spain and lived there for six years. While in Spain, Carmen found success participating in La Voz, and started to build a following that would tune in every week to see her perform. Then she lived in Mexico for a year, Los Angeles for another year and is now settled in Miami working on her music career.

In an exclusive interview with Latido Music by mitú, Carmen De Leon talked to us about her latest single “Pasado” with Cali y El Dandee, from which she drew inspiration from her very own break-up and reminiscing about the past. We also touched on “Cafecito“, the bittersweet song in memory of her grandparents, her dream collab, and more.

Pasado” is inspired by Carmen De Leon’s real-life breakup.

Carmen recruited Colombian singers Cali y El Dandee for her latest single “Pasado,” blending 80s synthpop with reggaeton, a true popetón hit you can dance to and perhaps cry to.

On working with Cali y El Dandee, Carmen has nothing but praise for the Colombian duo, “they are like my brothers, they’re insanely talented, genuine and humble.”

It was Dandee who actually wanted her to let her feelings all out for the song.

“At that moment while I was writing the song, I was actually breaking up with my boyfriend, and I had Mauricio (Dandee) saying to me: ‘Just tell me more. Whatever you’re texting him, say it out loud so we have the right words for the song’ and that’s what we did,” Carmen says.

Just like the lyrics of the song long about the past, so did the music video which was purposely made in the film to capture the “old vibe” they were seeking to portray.

Carmen feels like this is the best song that she has made in her entire life. “It’s changed my life in a way because it’s opened me up to new audiences and I love seeing people react to it and relate to it.”

Earlier this year, Carmen released “Cafecito” which isn’t about your beloved morning beverage.

Most of us would read the title “Cafecito” and think it’s just an upbeat morning pick-me-up song, but it isn’t. “Cafecito” is a bittersweet single that Carmen says she wrote, “at 4 a.m. in the middle of a hurricane because I missed my grandparents so much, and I wanted to write about what it feels like to lose someone.”

While her abuelitos were the main inspiration behind the lyrics, the song does capture the feeling of loss that could apply to those of us losing a friendship, relationship, etc.

Before I even finish the question about her dream collaboration, Carmen excitedly yelled “Camilo!,” which also happens to be one of her favorite covers she’s posted on her YouTube channel.

Carmen’s dad chimed in the interview as well to plug in his favorite cover, which is “Graveyard” by Halsey.

We can only hope that Carmen DeLeon and Camilo collab happens and that this article serves as manifestation for it.

Good luck with everything, Carmen!

READ: Mon Laferte Talks Regional Mexican Album ‘Seis’ and Singing With Gloria Trevi

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Women In Mexico Marched For International Women’s Day And Things Got Violent

Things That Matter

Women In Mexico Marched For International Women’s Day And Things Got Violent

March 8 is International Women’s Day. It is a day to celebrate women but in Mexico it is a protest against the rampant femicide gripping the country. Women marched against the femicide this year and things turned violent when police clashed with protesters.

March 8 has a different meaning in Mexico.

Women in Mexico took to the streets to protest the rampant femicides that are devastating the country. According to the New York Times, femicides in Mexico have been increasing in recent years. There was a 10 percent increase from 2018 to 2019 with a total of 1,006 incidents of reported femicide.

In 2017, there were seven femicides a day and by 2019 the number had jumped to 10.

“Women are demanding a shift of paradigm and nothing less,” Estefanía Vela, executive director of Intersecta, told the New York Times. “These are not only hashtags. These are students protesting at the universities, and mothers demanding justice for their daughters.”

People on social media are amplifying the cause by sharing what is happening.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has made it a part of his presidency to downplay the extent of the crisis. At times, AMLO has gone on record dismissing claims of widespread femicide in Mexico.

“I’m going to give you another fact, which doesn’t mean that violence against women doesn’t exist, because I don’t want you all to misinterpret me,” AMLO said during a daily morning presser in May. “Ninety percent of those calls that serve as your base are false, it’s proven.”

Women are not allowing for the narrative of false reports to persist and are standing up to highlight the crisis. People are criticizing AMLO and his administration for seemingly turning a blind eye to the deadly crisis.

This year’s protest had more anger after the death of Ingrid Escamilla.

Escamilla was murdered in February 2020 by her domestic partner. Her body was mutilated by the attacker in a violent way. The press ran the photos of her body on the front page and sparked anger around the world. After being murdered, her body was displayed for the public to see and people are tired of women being treated so poorly.

“He was supposed to represent a change and it turns out that he is not,” Xóchitl Rodríguez, a member of Feminasty, told the New York Times. “The fact that you wake up in the morning and your president cannot reassure you on what specific actions he is taking to deal with the issue, is outrageous.”

READ: Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

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