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By Angelika Romero, audio by Ana Karina Vivas
BOSTON- Over 200 Venezuelans took over the streets of Boston yesterday, marching from Boston Common to Copley Square.
The gathering was to show support for the student protests currently taking place in Venezuela.
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Today marks the ninth consecutive day of protests all throughout Venezuela. After President Nicolas Maduro expelled three U.S. diplomats from their country, college students started a series of protests they call “the exit”.
Fed up by high inflation and crime rates, along with the lack of freedom of expression and of the press, protesters organized themselves through Twitter and Facebook.
The Venezuelan government has censored several of the major television networks in the country. The leader of these protests is former mayor Leopoldo Lopez, who turned himself in to military officials yesterday.
Officials are accusing Lopez of causing the death of five students, the known amount of deaths so far. Meanwhile, hundreds continue to be injured with the military attacking peaceful protesters.
Sadie Orozco, a protester who moved to Boston thirteen years ago, said: “We are protesting against violence. We are lacking toothpaste and toilet paper. This has been going on for fifteen years and we cannot handle it anymore”.
After Hugo Chavez’s death in 2013, Nicolas Maduro took over the country as Chavez’s handpicked successor. Since then, the Venezuelan Violence Observatory has estimated 25,000 violent deaths.
Through the Twitter hash tag #imyourvoicevenezuela, people worldwide are showing solidarity by uploading pictures of their faces with messages like “prayer for Venezuela” and “help Venezuela”.
In the meantime, Venezuelans in Boston are organizing a global rally against Nicolas Maduro’s totalitarian government, which will take place in Copley Square at 1 p.m. this Saturday.