Things That Matter

Venezuela Is Rising Up Against The Maduro Government Today And Here’s What We Know

After years of unrest and a spiraling economic crisis, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is facing the strongest show of opposition. Acting-President Juan Guaidó has called for the people of Venezuela to take to the streets and fight for Venezuela’s democracy to be restored. Here’s what has happened today.

The morning started with acting President Juan Guaidó calling for the people of Venezuela to take to the streets in a final push to restore “Venezuela’s national sovereignty.”

Guaidó took to Periscope this morning to rally the Venezuelan people and the military to join in a coup d’etat to take back Venezuela. Specifically, Guiadó called on the protesters to take to the streets in a non-violent fight against Nicolás Maduro and the regime that has devastated the country.

“Today, brave soldier, brave patriots, brave men loyal to the constitution have heard our call,” Guaidó says in the video. “We have finally met on the streets of Venezuela. Operation liberty, the Help and Freedom Committees, I invite them to immediately cover the streets of Venezuela. The first of May has started today. The definitive end of the usurpation starts today.”

One of the first things Guaidó did was to instruct the Venezuelan military to release Leopoldo Lopez from his house arrest.

Credit: @JaredGenser / Twitter

Leopoldo Lopez was the opposition leader when the Venezuelan opposition first started to push back in 2015 and 2016. His visibility and vocal opposition against Maduro made him a target in 2017. He was arrested and harassed multiple times by the Maduro government and his imprisonment at a military prison led to an international backlash against Maduro as Leopoldo’s health declined while detained.

“I have been released by the military under the orders of the constitution and President Guaidó,” Lopez tweeted for the first time since 2017. “I am at the Carlota Base. Everyone mobilize. It’a time to conquer for freedom. Strength and faith.”

Protesters have answered Guaidó’s call to take to the streets by the thousands.

The coup d’etat, being supported by members of the Venezuelan military, is pushing against pro-Maduro forces as clashes break out across the city of Caracas. Pro-Maduro forces are using deadly force against protesters as they try to end the protests and restore order.

Pro-Maduro colectivos have turned their guns and tanks against Guaidó supporters.

Colectivos were not always the armed aggressors of the Venezuelan government that we know today. It is only recently that the colectivos have participated in violence and fear-based terrorism of the Venezuelan people.

“The colectivos first appeared in the early years of the Chávez administration to inform people of social policies,” Margarita López Maya, a Venezuelan historian El Rosario University, told USA Today. “The idea was to organize people and inform them of what the government was doing.”

Some of the military member under Maduro’s rule have defected to support the Venezuelan people.

“There are generals, there are lieutenant colonels, there are majors, there are colonels — it’s a reflection of the country,” Guaidó told the press about the military joining in the fight against Maduro.

Venezuelans around the world are raising their voices for their home country today.

Venezuelans have been fighting for their country for years. The world is watching on today as they make another push to save their country from the hands of the man they no longer want in power.

This story is still developing. Check back with mitú for updates.

READ: Venezuelan Blackout Claims 21 Lives, Opposition Leaders Blame Maduro Regime

Dolores Huerta Was Just Detained For Protesting For Workers’ Rights In Fresno County

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Dolores Huerta Was Just Detained For Protesting For Workers’ Rights In Fresno County

Dolores Huerta is one of the best-known and relentless labor organizers in the U.S. Her career fighting for workers’ rights spans decades and her work is nowhere near done. Today, the 89-year-old activist was detained while protesting the treatment of In-House Supportive System workers in Fresno County who have been negotiating a pay raise for years. Here’s what went down during the Board of Supervisors meeting at the Fresno County Hall of Records.

Dolores Huerta kept her chin up in defiance as she was escorted, in plastic handcuffs, from a Board of Supervisors meeting in Fresno County.

Credit: laloalcaraz / Twitter

According to the Fresno Bee, Huerta was one of several protesters demanding that the Fresno Board of Supervisors approve a respectable raise for In-Home Supportive System (IHSS) employees.

The IHSS program “helps elderly, blind and disabled people to safely remain in their own homes when they are not able to fully care for themselves or handle routine household tasks,” reads the website. “IHSS encourages independence and self-reliance, when possible, and is an alternative to out-of-home care in institutions or nursing facilities.”

IHSS employees offer clients services like housekeeping, meal prep, laundry, bathing, and accompanying patients to medical appointments, to name a few.

Huerta and other protesters filled the Fresno County Hall of Records to voice their demands to those making the decisions.

Credit: @DaryRezani / Twitter

According to the Fresno Bee, the IHSS workers currently make the minimum wage, which is set at $12 an hour. The labor union has been negotiating a pay raise for the workers for years and the Fresno Board of Supervisors was set to approve a 10-cent per hour raise. That is what sparked the protest demanding a proper wage increase.

According to the Fresno Bee, more than 17,000 people in Fresno County rely on caregivers and that number is expected to reach 106,000 by 2030.

People are absolutely celebrating the activist for her unapologetic stance for laborers.

Credit: @AshleySayWhatt / Twitter

Huerta co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers, back in in 1962 and used her activist knowledge to fight for better working conditions for farmworkers in Delano, California. Since then, Huerta has been an example of activism and her fight for the most vulnerable in the employment community has continued.

Her reputation as a strong woman has become an irrefutable characteristic of the activist.

Credit: @Castror14 / Twitter

Señora Chingona, indeed. Huerta has been arrested several times as part of her activism. She has even used her voice and name to fight for what she thinks is right in politics. Her activism was on full display during the 2016 elections as people mobilized to fight for the Latino community.

The protesters at the Fresno Board of Supervisors meeting today were optimistic about their ability to exact change.

Protesters joyfully chanted, “We believe we can win” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, poverty wages have got to go.” The protesters were effective in getting the attention of the board. The protest was disruptive enough that the meeting was recessed for 10 minutes just 30 seconds after they began chanting. The Fresno Bee called the protest ill-timed but the protesters knew they had the attention of those in charge.

“They are finalizing the budget in September. We want to make sure they put us in the budget for a wage increase,” organizer Ua Lugo told the Fresno Bee. “So today is very important.”

Despite numerous people being detained, the protesters continued in their fight.

“It should not come to this. It should not come to this,” protester Martha Valladarez told the Fresno Bee about caring for her daughter with Down Syndrome while officers placed plastic cuffs on her. “They have no idea the love that we have for our family members.”

Huerta was released shortly after being detained and she was greeted with a cheering crowd for her willingness to keep protesting.

What do you think about Dolores Huerta being detained for her protest in Fresno?

READ: Dolores Huerta The Latina Freedom Fighter Who Taught Us ‘Sí Se Puede’ Has Been Arrested Over 20 Times

Some People Are Blaming The Actions Of The Women At Mexico City’s March For The Attack On A Reporter

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Some People Are Blaming The Actions Of The Women At Mexico City’s March For The Attack On A Reporter

@adn40 / Twitter

Hundreds of women in Mexico took to the streets to demand justice after two teenage girls reported being raped by police officers. The protests filled Mexico City and women were not going to silent as they demanded justice. One reporter covering the protest was attacked on camera and the blame game is in full force as people try to find out who started it.

ADN40 reporter Juan Manuel Jiménez was covering the anti-rape protest in Mexico City when he was attacked by a random man.

Credit: @adn40 / Twitter

The video shows Jiménez reporting from the protest as protest participants threw glitter and other items at the reporter. The entire time, Jiménez mentioned that the women were angry at the injustice women face against Mexican police. When he mentioned going to another location to continue his reporting, that’s when a man walked behind in and sucker-punched him.

The man had spent time standing next to the reporter and was caught on camera, despite him trying to hide his face later.

Credit: @v_altamirano / Twitter

“This idiot el the coward,” tweeted @v_altamirano. “@juanmapregunta I hope they find him @SSP_CDMA @PGFJD_CDMX have his FIRST and LAST name.”

The man was seen standing near the reporter for some time as Jiménez was talking to the camera. Then, he retreated into the crowd and started talking to two people that were marching. After speaking with the two people, the attacker made his way back to the reporter and attacked him from behind.

The footage has angered people who are tired of the violence in Mexico and see the attack as lessening the protest.

Credit: dianamoon0506 / Twitter

“I am a mother, sister, and daughter and I do not approve this display, NO TO VIOLENCE,” tweeted @dianamoon0506. “The women started the violence. We will never advance humanity like this. All of my support to @juanmapregunta.”

Some women said the feminists marching defended the reporter and that it was a random man who attacked Jiménez.

Credit: @mickeydobbss / Twitter

After Jiménez was knocked to the ground, the video shows women cornering the attacker and attempting to detain the man. The man pushed the women off and ran into the crowd to get away from those pursuing him.

A lot of people are blaming the women who first started to attack Jiménez for creating the atmosphere.

Credit: @Omar_ca_P / Twitter

“They didn’t defend anyone, those who did ‘attack’ the aggressor and scream ‘it was him’ because they knew that this kind of thing damages their image and they want to distance themselves from blame,” tweeted @Omar_ca_P. “They too attacked the reporter, not with punches but they attacked.”

Another video posted showed some of the protesters stopping to care for Jiménez after he was knocked to the ground.

The people caring for Jiménez helped him wake up and are shown in the video caring for him. This all happened after he was knocked to the ground and the attacker ran away.

You can watch the full video below.

What do you think about the attack and the blame game happening with the march?

READ: Hundreds Protest After Teen Girls Accuse Mexico City Police of Rape