Vancouver February 20th, 2014 – “STAND-UP for Venezuela” is formed by Venezuelans living abroad who want to express their concern with the Venezuelan situation; more specifically for violations of Human Rights, Justice and Separation of powers in Venezuela.
On February 12th (Youth day), students from all over the country, started pacific demonstrations protesting against the corrupt, inefficient, and incompetent rule of Nicolas Maduro's government.
The government has responded violently to the protests; and since February 19th, it has increased the amount of tanks, police, military forces and pro-government militias in the streets allowing them to act without restrain against the protesters.
Information is scant: At least 8 people have been killed, more than 100 have been wounded and over 400 detained, there is no independent media to report the situation due to attacks and intimidation of journalists; suspension of cable providers and twitter blockage.
Since yesterday, Táchira state has been completely under siege; as response to civilian protests, the military took control, attacking protesters in the streets and their homes and finally blocking internet.
Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was detained on Tuesday; he was criminally charged without serious evidence of instigation of violence; his court appearance has been delayed with no reason, demonstrating government’s abuse of power, as the justice system is not independent.
The director of Human Rights Watch, Jose Miguel Vivanco, expressed that the violation of human rights in Venezuela can be described as “serious” and reaffirmed that there is not an “independent political authority that can protect citizens subject to abuse”.
Human Right Foundation Chairman, Garry Kasparov, declared that: “It may seem pointless to call on Venezuela’s authoritarian government to act reasonably when for years it has used police intelligence officials, the military, pro-government militias, and the courts to consolidate power and harass, persecute, and shutdown political opponents and the independent media”.
We invite you to cover this protest and the efforts of Venezuelans to defend Human Rights, Justice and Separation of powers in Venezuela.
Date: February 22, 2014
Place: Robson Square, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Time: 11:00 am
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