Newsletter N°142, Political Prisioners in Venezuela

Opposition, Prisoners of Venezuela Win EU Human Rights Prize

October 26, 2017

The democratic opposition and political prisoners in Venezuela on Thursday won the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for human rights.

The European Parliament said that it wanted to reward the courage of students and politicians fighting for freedom in the face of a repressive government.

Guy Verhofstadt of the ALDE liberal group said that «this award supports the fight of democratic forces for a democratic Venezuela.» He urged «the international community to join us in this fight for the freedom of the people of Venezuela.»

The Venezuelan laureates follow the footsteps of last year’s winners, two Yazidi women who escaped sexual enslavement by the Islamic State group.Read more

Latin American Governments Meet to Discuss Sanctions against Venezuelan Regime, UN Involvement

October 27, 2017

Though the Venezuelan government continues to deny it is facing the worst economic and political crisis in the country’s history, other nations in the region continue to work on addressing the problem. The Lima Group — 12 countries determined to fix the situation Nicolás Maduro won’t — met for a third time in Canada this week.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said that while Maduro insists that what happens in Venezuela is of no concern to other countries, “hunger, lack of resources to treat the sick, beatings, mass arrests and civilian torture, as well as the destruction of democratic institutions, are of concern to everyone.”

The member countries said that the situation has worsened in Venezuela of late, especially with the “electoral fraud” that occured during regional elections, which led to the Maduro regime obtaining the majority of governor positions nationwide. They also lamented the fragmentation of the political opposition. Read more

Photojournalist Nominated for Press Freedom Prize, Recalls Experiences in Venezuela
October 26, 2017

Miguel Gutierrez, a photojournalist working for EFE who was nominated on Thursday for the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Prize, talked about the difficulties covering the reality in Venezuela and emphasized how important it was to be journalists.

“The hardest thing was to take the photos of the wakes and the funerals of the people who died during the protests,” Gutierrez said in an interview with EFE, the agency he has worked for since five years in Caracas, capturing the day-to-day life of more than five months of demonstrations against the government this year.

Among all the images he took, some of which appeared on the front cover of newspapers across the world, the Colombian-Venezuelan photojournalist emotionally recalled the moment in which he captured the death of young protester David Vallenilla, who was shot dead on June 22. Read more

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