Venezuelan American Leadership Council launches to advocate for a free Venezuela
Monday 21 March 2016 (Washington DC) – Based in Washington DC, the Venezuelan American Leadership Council (VALC) was launched today, to unite Venezuelan Americans and like-minded allies to advocate for a much-needed free, democratic, safe, secure and prosperous Venezuela.
Dictatorship and wholesale mismanagement of the country under Hugo Chavez and now his successor Nicolas Maduro, have left Venezuela on the brink of a humanitarian disaster. Despite Venezuela’s enormous oil resources, hyperinflation is expected to reach 720 per cent this year, while default on a crippling national debt of around $120 billion appears certain. This has left ordinary Venezuelans at the mercy of serious food shortages, routinely waiting in line for hours for basic foodstuffs. Meanwhile, the country’s pharmaceutical federation estimates that 90 per cent of the country’s medicines are in scarce supply. Maduro’s regime has taken no meaningful steps to relieve the dire situation and uses the judiciary to muzzle the country’s political opposition.
VALC has been established to help end the suffering of Venezuelans and to reverse the country’s descent into crisis. VALC will serve as the American voice of the Venezuelan people, to raise awareness of their plight and advocate for a free Venezuela. VALC will work towards a vibrant Venezuelan democracy, including a prosperous free market, free and fair media and safety and security for its citizens. VALC is a broad-based movement with no partisan affiliation. It will work alongside politicians from left to right, think tanks, NGOs and organizations which fight for human rights and democracy.
VALC has been established by concerned Venezuelan Americans, in response to the increasing fears of the 300,000-strong community over Venezuela’s future. The organization aims to galvanize both the community and all liberty-loving Americans to speak out for Venezuelan freedom. A series of awareness-raising public events, gatherings and rallies are planned during the coming months. Further details will be made available at the VALC website www.venezuelan.us and social media channels.
VALC aims to place the future of Venezuela high on the agenda of public and political debate. Particularly as President Obama embarks on his historic visit to Cuba and as the election campaign unfolds, VALC will work to make Venezuela’s fate a significant foreign policy issue for America’s leaders.
Carlos Marquez, VALC’s Executive Director and a well-known community activist, commented “So many Venezuelan Americans are gravely concerned about their former home country. For the first time, VALC will provide a platform which empowers them to make a difference, despite living thousands of miles away. Together, we can and must bring freedom to Venezuela before it is too late.”
Antonio de la Cruz, VALC’s Chairman and prominent political analyst, said “With the situation continuing to deteriorate in Venezuela, international pressure on President Maduro will be critical to the country’s future. As Americans, we have a golden opportunity to instil Venezuela with the values which define our great nation – Freedom, justice and democracy.”