The Leader of the Opposition proposes a bloc against the dictators of the world
Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López on Tuesday proposed a global effort to stop the spread of totalitarian states on the planet, saying dictatorships work together and learn to suppress democratic movements.
Speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum held this week in Miami Beach, Lopez said strong men like Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro are able to stay in power not only because of the advantages they might have in their country or the missteps of democratic forces.
These factors are important, but “they are not the central problem. The main reason Maduro is still in power is the support he receives from powerful countries very active in promoting the expansion of authoritarianism around the world: China, Russia, Iran, Turkey and , in our case, Cuba, ”López said.
These nations are constantly helping the burgeoning dictatorships, working as a network to support them, he said.
“They feed, help each other, learn from each other and know how to suppress street protests. They share the control mechanisms for communications and social media, ”said López, who was jailed by Maduro for starting the 2014 protests in Venezuela.
López, top leader of opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s political party, said this network of dictatorships cannot be effectively combated by the individual efforts of opponents in each of their countries, stressing that the emerging global phenomenon requires effort. joint democratic forces.
“The bottom line is that we have to unite and organize among ourselves,” Lopez said. “All the movements are isolated in their own country, and even neighbors like Cuba and Nicaragua, which face the same phenomenon that we are facing in Venezuela, are not united… We do not communicate with each other; we don’t learn from ourselves.
López, who fled Venezuela in 2019, made his statements at the global forum which for two days brought together artists, political leaders and spokespersons from some of the movements seeking to save the democracies of the world in Miami. whole world.
Despite his comments on the need to preserve unity, López was received Tuesday by activists and dissident Venezuelan opponents who were protesting against him and other members of Guaidó’s team for the decision to participate in a negotiation process. with the Maduro regime.
Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, who called the July 11 protests on the island the biggest in decades in her country, also spoke at the forum.
“The Cuban government wanted to portray [the demonstrations] like acts of criminals who wanted to cause problems, but the reality was that it was the biggest uprising of all time in Cuba since the revolution, ”said Bruguera in a presentation on the state of human rights. man on the island.
According to the artist, the protests spontaneously arose across the island and prompted a quick reaction from the government. Appearing on national television, Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel urged “revolutionaries” to take to the streets to quell protests.
He was speaking in code, Bruguera said. “And the code is that anyone who went to defend those in power would not be prosecuted or tried. To date, none of them have been punished for their actions which caused multiple injuries, she noted.
The island has seen an increase in government repression: in a single day there were more than 1,000 inmates, some of whom were children abused in prison, others sexually, the artist said.
The state security apparatus also began using covert methods to contain the protest, including dressing as medical personnel to enter homes where hunger strikes were underway.
The artist, who was on the island at the time of the protests, left Cuba on August 17 and is now in Miami. Currently, she said, she is making contact with “many people” of the Cuban community abroad because she believes they are vital in bringing about changes in the country.
This story was originally published 5 October 2021 5:08 pm.