The youth in Venezuela are leading the fight against Castro-style tyranny

As the situation in Venezuela worsens under a brutally repressive dictatorship, it is the country’s youth who are leading the fight against tyranny. The Cuban-controlled socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro is doing everything it can to turn Venezuela into another Cuba. But while the traditional opposition may have wavered and disappointed, it is the country’s young people who have stood steadfast in their struggle for freedom and liberty. Unfortunately, many of them have paid the ultimate price for their opposition to despotic, socialist rule.

By Jorge Jraissati in PanAm Post:

In Venezuela, the Fires of Freedom Burn Strongest among the Young

Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. It doesn’t discriminate, and it affects us all equally. In life, we turn around and years have passed. Time is that possession that fades away from us slowly, subtly, and even imperceptibly, and then at some point, it seems to pass so fast that it kidnaps our life without asking for forgiveness.

The voices of experience are represented in our ancestors who lived so much that they were able to see their lives in retrospect. Those voices alert future generations not only to the significance of time but also to the meaning of its erosion. They remember their experiences with loved ones and the dreams they had in their years of idealism and youth. The meaning of these experiences is vast and immeasurable. They are the moments we create out of our freedom and are the gifts of life itself.

Freedom is the inalienable right that allows each one of us to be the unique individual we are; in other words, to be human. Freedom is a blessing that leads us to keep fighting for our dreams, loving the people we love, and believe in the world we live in. Freedom is what gives our lives purpose, along with the opportunity to discover, to create, and to make a difference for those around us, for our countries and for all humanity. Family, culture, beliefs, and economic life – all are nothing more than the manifestations of freedom itself. The less freedom there is, the less we flourish in any of those spheres.

This year, the youth of my country defied the regime, inspired by the millions of Venezuelans who dream to be free. Yes, there are still people in my country who support the dictatorship and its socialist agenda, but the future belongs to the young, and it’s among the young that the fires of freedom burn the strongest.

[…]

This year, day by day for months, the streets of Venezuela witnessed the biggest manifestations of courage in the country’s history. Students were in the forefront of them all. Those impressive national protests were repressed by the regime and its military with massive brutality and with the complicity and weapons of Castro’s Cuba. Thousands of young Venezuelans were (and still are) incarcerated; thousands more were injured. At least 157 students were killed in 2017, and they, in particular, are the heroes I wish to honor and remember, and to which this essay is dedicated.

Those brave and inspiring Venezuelans of my generation gave everything for the future of their families. They died because they preferred to die fighting than to live as slaves. Abandoning their families to tyranny was not an option. They found the strength to fight because they wanted to see the families they love to be free and to prosper. They wanted to see their fathers proud to work with dignity, not depressed for being no longer able to work and pay the bills. They wanted to wipe the tears of their mothers when they had no food in the fridge.

Their deaths, however, were not in vain. The same way they always fought, we will keep fighting. They are our inspiration, and a major reason to keep fighting. I ask God to give me half of the strength they had, as they possessed courage I can only imagine. Because of Venezuelans like them, I have no doubts my country will be free, though I do not know when or what trials must yet be endured before that happens. I have no doubt our fallen heroes watch us from Heaven and guide our fight. We owe them the free Venezuela they never saw, the joy of living in a country they only could dream about.

Read the entire Op-Ed HERE.