The Systematic Silencing of Human Rights Defenders in Venezuela

It is no secret in the international community that the humanitarian situation in Venezuela is dire. A history of detrimental governance has driven Venezuela into political and economic ruin. Former President Hugo Chávez’s populist political ideology was characterized by a desire to nationalize Venezuelan industries and a rejection of U.S. imperialism. However, Chávez’s economic policy resulted in a destructive spending spree that produced an incredible run-up in the price of oil and racked up enormous piles of debt. As a result, almost 10% of Venezuela’s 31 million-strong population have fled overseas; of those who remain, nearly 90% live in poverty. Throughout his reign, Chávez effectively edged Venezuela towards authoritarianism, paving the way for current President Nicolás Maduro to establish a dictatorship.

The Black Lives Matter Movement in Cuba

In June of 2020, the killing of an unarmed young Black man received widespreadmedia attention and sparked calls for protests across Cuba. However, 52 local activists were preemptively arrested for planning such protests that called for racial justice on the island. Additionally, the state-owned communications company blocked phone and internet access the night before participants and journalists were planning to cover the protests.