Every news outlet is discussing President Donald Trump’s first 100 days. Between daily updates of his poll ratings and think pieces on how he has undermined American politics, many outlets are trying to convince the American public that he is the worst president that the nation has ever had. The coverage of President Trump, from his executive orders down to his every tweet, is perfectly thorough. Media outlets, however, have completely neglected to mention the desperate state of the Venezuelan people.
If you rely only on the mainstream media, you probably missed one of the Western Hemisphere’s worst tragedies in modern history. Venezuela, once a rich, free and beautiful nation, has been destroyed. Although Venezuela has had over a trillion dollars in oil revenues in the last 17 years, more than 70 percent of 31 million Venezuelans are living in poverty. Between two dictatorships and messily applied socialism, the country has become uninhabitable. The nation has sky-high murder rates and frequent scheduled power outages, according to the Atlantic. Jails are overwhelmed, as protesting has become a crime. There is hardly any food, employment opportunities or medicine.
For the last three years, hundreds of thousands of oppressed Venezuelans have been protesting against their socialist dictator, Nicolas Maduro. In October of 2016, Venezuelans tried to vote Maduro out of power, but he rigged the elections. Desperately hungry and angry, Venezuelans took to the streets to object to the fraudulent election results and many were killed. Two months ago, the Venezuelan Supreme Court granted Maduro dictatorial powers and eliminated the legislature, which was led by the president’s opposition. Maduro needed dictatorial power to sell a portion of Petroles de Venezuela, S.A., the nation’s oil company, to Russia to pay for previous debts. Maduro re-established the legislature after three days, but it was too late.
About a month ago, millions of Venezuelans began to protest on the streets. Maduro told the police and military to stop protesters. This outraged Venezuelans at home and abroad. Thousands of Venezuelans lucky enough to escape gathered in front of embassies all around the world to protest the dictatorial regime. Venezuelans have been begging governments worldwide to save their country, but the world has ignored them.
While the American media obsesses over Trump’s first 100 days, they ignore global events just below the equator despite the clear state of emergency. As of last Monday, around 24 activists had been murdered. The media controls the narrative and leaves the public virtually ignorant of important issues. It is imperative that Americans inform themselves of Venezuela’s crisis. We cannot remain silent as a dictator destroys his country.
Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them. A version of this article appeared in the Monday, May 1 print edition.
Email Graziella Pastor at [email protected]