An American Voice of the Venezuelan People

While Venezuela spirals closer to the brink of a total economic and political crisis, activist Carlos Marquez is focused on unification.

According to Marquez, Venezuela is an imminent humanitarian crisis “right on America’s doorstep” that he says he just couldn’t ignore. Thus, the Venezuelan American Leadership Council officially launched last week to provide “an American voice of the Venezuelan people” and advocate for a freer and democratic society through projects and public events.

“The economy is collapsing; democracy is being trampled on; the media is controlled by the state; and opposition voices are being silenced,” Marquez, executive director of VALC, told TheBlaze in an interview. “Most urgently, our families are running out of basic food and medicine. People are waiting in line for several hours just for basics such as milk and flour.”

“Here in America, we are a relatively large expat community, and yet we have no organized voice,” he continued. “We believe that there has never been a more important time to organize, unite and advocate for a free, democratic, safe, secure and prosperous Venezuela.”

In order to achieve that goal, Marquez said the organization will focus on raising awareness about the day-to-day struggles Venezuelans face — which will include working with other similar countries in the region through their embassies in the U.S. VALC will also work with politicians on both sides of the aisle as well as with think tanks, non-governmental organizations and human rights groups.

“This is not about any particular individual or opposition faction; this is about unifying Venezuelan Americans and like-minded allies who share a particular vision of a free, democratic and prosperous Venezuela,” he explained.

But their vision is one tinted with urgency. “Food is running out. Medicine is running out,” Marquez said. “Inflation is out of control and could soon be as high as 720 percent. Political opponents are thrown in prison, and democracy is completely disregarded.”

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