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…

CREDIT: 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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Trump Supporters March on Washington in ‘Million MAGA March’ to Protest Biden Win

Things That Matter

Trump Supporters March on Washington in ‘Million MAGA March’ to Protest Biden Win

Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Over the weekend, thousands of Trump supporters took to the streets of Washington, D.C. to gather in what they dubbed the “Million MAGA March”. Protestors cheered as Trump’s motorcade drove by the crowds on his way to his golf course in Virginia.

The “MAGA March” Trump supporters gathered to protest what they believe is a “rigged” election.

They are united under the phrase “Stop the Steal,” which is inspired by the President’s assertations that the election was “stolen” through various nefarious methods. The “methods” Trump has alleged are massive voter fraud (untrue), faulty voting machines (untrue), and shady election workers (untrue).

Unfortunately, due to the sea of misinformation on the internet, these MAGA marchers are convinced that democracy has been thwarted. They don’t believe there is any way that Trump could have lost the election if the election was free and fair. No matter what evidence they are presented with, their world view remains the same: Trump was cheated.

According to reporters on the ground, dozens of members of the Proud Boys group were in attendance–the white nationalist group that Trump gave a shout-out to during the first presidential debate.

Also in attendance were QAnon conspiracy theorists, boogaloo boys, and Confederate sympathizers. And of course, there were just those who were there to support the president without being part of any far-right groups.

After nightfall, smatterings of violence broke out between the marchers and counter-protestors. According to The Washington Post, activists “spewed profanity and shouted threats, threw punches and launched bottles.” At least 20 people were arrested. According to The Post, at least one counter protestor was stabbed.

While the protestors (and Trump himself) boasted to the public that there were hundreds of thousands of attendees, the Washington D.C. park service estimates that less than 12,000 people were present. For comparison, roughly 470,000 people attended the 2017 Washington Women’s March after Trump was elected.

The diminutive size of the so-called “Million MAGA March” got more than a few laughs on the internet.

Once again, Twitter users got a kick out of Trump’s insistence that the crowds he draws are huge–when they’re usually pretty underwhelming.

Jokes abounded about the Trump’s counting skills–which seemed to have been failing him a lot lately.

Is it possible that he got his diploma at one of his defunct for-profit universities? That would explain his struggle identifying simple figures.

But this man made an astute observation about the amount of people there.

No matter how you count it, the numbers add up in the end.

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Marco Rubio Writes Letter Asking For TPS For Venezuelans After Republicans Voted Against It

Things That Matter

Marco Rubio Writes Letter Asking For TPS For Venezuelans After Republicans Voted Against It

Stefanie Reynolds / Getty Images

The Trump administration is letting Temporary Protected Status expire for hundreds of thousands of people. A lot of these people have been here for years and have started families and businesses. Republicans voted against TPS for Venezuelans so Sen. Marco Rubio is now asking Trump to do something about it.

Sen. Marco Rubio wrote a letter to President Trump asking for TPS for Venezuelans.

It is a break from the usual tactic of ignoring TPS needs in Florida by Haitians, Hondurans, and Salvadorans. These people are at risk of losing their TPS after the Trump administration decided to let those protections expire. Venezuelans started fleeing the South American country when the economy started to collapse. Many of them have settled in South Florida.

People immediately started to call Sen. Rubio out for his glaring inaction for years.

Venezuelan nationals have been coming to the U.S. for years to escape the terrifying situation in Venezuela. An economic downfall led to millions of Venezuelans going without food, school, medicine, and other necessities. The crisis was an international fascination as Venezuelans took to the streets and were killed for protesting against their government.

Senate Republicans refused to vote on a bill last year to provide TPS to Venezuelans.

In August 2019, Senate Republicans had the chance to vote on a bill that would have protected Venezuelans living in the U.S. A bill in the Democrat-led House passed but the Senate bill stalled because of Senate Republicans. The failure by the Senate to pass the bill has left Venezuelans vulnerable to deportation back to the country they fled.

“Not this week, I don’t anticipate movement on it,” Rubio told the Miami Herald back then. “I anticipate hopefully getting the administration to do something. That’s what we’ve been working on behind the scenes here, we’ve made a little progress on it. We have 17 votes already scheduled this week, a bunch of nominees, the spending bill, the veto override. The votes this week have already been scheduled.”

During this time, the Trump administration has quietly been deporting Venezuelans back.

Venezuelans nationals have been deported back to President Nicolás Maduro’s brutal regime. With no economic prospects, the deportations are sending people to their deaths as one in three Venezuelans aren’t getting enough food. This is just one of the many issues compounded on the Venezuelan people after years of economic and political turmoil.

Venezuelans are also pointing out how Sen. Rubio waited until after Amy Coney Barrett to fight for TPS.

Senate Republicans recently confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The confirmation was rushed to secure a conservative majority on the court and went against the wish of the American people. A majority of Americans preferred that the Senate wait until after the election.

There are four days left until the elections and every vote matters. Make sure you get out there and make your voice heard.

READ: The RNC Wants You To Think Biden-Harris Policies Are Socialist, These Cuban And Venezuelan-Americans Think Otherwise

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