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Venezuelans in Acadiana protest Pres. Maduro, support new leadership

Posted at 10:30 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 23:44:51-05

Dozens of Venezuelans in Lafayette are showing their support for the new leader of Venezuela and protesting President Nicolas Maduro, who was recently inaugurated for a second term.

“We are doing this to support Guaido so everyone knows that we are out of the country, but we still have our heart over there,” said Luisa Blanco, who helped organize the demonstration.

The leader of the opposition, Juan Guaido, swore himself in today as the interim president after many argue the election of Maduro was rigged. Guaido is the leader of the National Assembly, the only democratic branch of government in Venezuela.

This change prompted support from President Trump and other countries as well.

Now, thousands of Venezuelans are calling on the military to support Guaido and force Maduro to step down.

“Today, I cried for about three hours, first of all, because we were starting to think this day would never come,” said Maria Ruiz, who came here from Venezuela 25 years ago.

Both Ruiz and Blanco left Venezuela because of the impacts of socialism. They know the struggles of so many who are still there.

“They are really starving. They are looking for food in the trash cans. The situation is terrible. They have no access to medicines,” said Blanco.

“I’ve been here for 25 years, and I’m the only one in my family who ever left the country, so just watching from here, everything they’re going through is really hard, just every day worrying about never seeing them again,” said Ruiz, holding back tears.

This is a day that many, including some here in Acadiana, have been waiting for.

With protests here and across the world, they’re hoping the socialist regime will end soon.

“That we will be free again. I was with no hope; I thought we were just going to have to accept the situation,” said Blanco.

“It’s just hope. That’s the only thing that I think they were looking for, just a new beginning,” echoed Ruiz.

You can read more about today’s developments in Venezuela here.