McALLEN — Following Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez’s arrest Tuesday, Venezuelan compatriots in the Rio Grande Valley gathered to show their support for his party.
Wearing white to symbolize peace, waving the Venezuelan flag and brandishing pro-opposition signs, approximately 45 supporters gathered at the corner of Nolana and 10th Street in McAllen to voice their rejection of Venezuela’s ruling party and support for its opposition.
“The sentiment in Venezuela is of hope,” Yayi Soto of Mission said in Spanish, adding that such demonstrations represent “a light at the end of the tunnel” for Venezuelans.
“Our objective in being here today is for the world to realize what’s happening to us in Venezuela,” said Soto, originally from Venezuela.
Esmir Perron, president of the Venezuelan Club of the Rio Grande Valley, stated the situation plainly.
“We’re in a crisis (in Venezuela),” she said in Spanish. “We’re calling for help.”
“This is the moment for the (Venezuelan) people to lift themselves up,” Deborah Teran of Edinburg said in Spanish.
“We want the world to know what the situation is in Venezuela,” Teran said. “There are no human rights in Venezuela.”
Mabel Ariza of Mission via Venezuela spoke of inflation and lack of basic human needs in her home country.
“Our own country is dying of hunger,” Ariza said in Spanish. “We want the world to know.”
Teran was in tears describing where she really wished to be: alongside those protesting in South America.
“Right now I’d like to be able to grab a plane and go to Venezuela, to struggle alongside the students,” she said.
“I say it to you honestly, and with all my heart.”