28 minutes | Jan 7, 2020

Bright Spots Of Democracy - Venezuela Activists

Venezuela continues to grapple with a humanitarian crisis caused by the dictatorial corruption of Nicolas Maduro. But despite the danger to themselves and their families, every day people continue to mobilize and demand respect for human rights and a return to democracy. Over the last three years of this podcast, we've discussed the political situation in Venezuela a number of times – often focusing on the crisis at the national level situation. Today, we wanted to bring things down to the personal level. Our producers Sam Johannes and Travis Green spoke with two activists on how their journey led them to be involved in politics and what keeps them motivated through such trying times. Rafaela Requesens is a Venezuelan student activist who gained recognition as the Student Council President of the Central University of Venezuela (Universidad Central de Venezuela, UCV) in 2017-2018. She has been instrumental in raising awareness on the current state of education in Venezuela and has led the student movement in several peaceful protests. Ms. Requesens has also been a public advocate for political prisoners, given that her brother, National Assembly Deputy Juan Requesens, was arbitrarily imprisoned by the Maduro regime in 2018. To date, he remains imprisoned with no trial date set. Armando Armas is a Member of the political party Voluntad Popular, who was elected to the National Assembly in 2015. He was one of the Deputies injured in July 2017 when the National Assembly was attacked by pro-Maduro supporters.
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