Hundreds of people demonstrated today under the building where the consulate of Venezuela is in Miami against the “fraudulent” elections in that country, and to ask for freedom and the exit of President Nicolás Maduro.
Convened by organizations such as Venezuelan Persecuted Political Exile (Veppex) and representatives of opposition political parties, protesters gathered with banners and banners on Brickell Avenue, in the heart of Miami’s financial district, surrounded by a visible police contingent.
While shouting slogans such as “Maduro farsante, student murderer” and raised banners with legends that equated “vote” in these elections with “bounce”, in the Venezuelan consulate took place the voting day to elect president.
According to Jose Antonio Colina, president of Veppex, to a crowd of more than 300 people, according to calculations of independent sources, only “eight or ten people” had come to vote at the consulate.
Efe and other media present at the demonstration could not contrast the figures with the Consulate General of Venezuela because they were denied access to the building and when they asked to speak with an official they were told that nobody was available.
The political leaders of the Venezuelan opposition exiled in the USA attended the demonstration. as Carlos Muchacho, ex-mayor of Chacao, and Wagner Jiménez, former mayor of Marturin, who exhorted the demonstrators to maintain the fight against the “dictatorship” sustained by “1,500 Cuban minions,” according to the latter, until they achieve freedom.
There was also José Amalio Graterol, of the Vente Venezuela party, and, according to the convening organizations, Carlos Vecchio, of Voluntad Popular, was expected to close the demonstration.
Colina told Efe that it was an “apotheosis demonstration” in “redress and rejection of the great farce” of today’s elections in which Maduro seeks re-election and in which the united opposition has called not to participate.
In solidarity with Venezuela, representatives of the Cuban opposition also participated, such as the leader of the Movimiento Democracia, the exiled Ramón Sául Sánchez, accompanied by the political express José Silva, the national delegate of that group in Cuba.
They and the other speakers called to liberate Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and said that their struggle is the same.
Among the banners were two large posters showing Maduro and Chavez leader Diosdado Cabello imprisoned behind bars, and others that read “We do not know on May 20. This is Fraud (in English)”, “Venezuelan do not vote in this fraud. Do not write yourself down “and” Voting is validating the dictatorship that separated me from my family. ”
The protesters chanted the Venezuelan anthem several times and shouted freedom for Venezuela and Cuba.
“We are not going to rest until Venezuela is free and democratic,” Colina said.
South Florida, especially the city of Doral, in Miami Dade County, is where the largest number of Venezuelans in the United States, which is approximately 750,000 people, is concentrated, according to organizations in this community.
The figure includes people with permanent residence or nationalized, holders of visas, asylum seekers and immigrants without legal permits, according to sources consulted by Efe.
Venezuela Awareness Foundation (VAF) notes that between 2016 and 2017 the number of Venezuelans seeking asylum in the US doubled, from 14,738 to 29,250.
In the first quarter of 2018, Venezuelans were number one on the list of petitioners for political asylum in the United States, with 7,610 applications. EFEUSA