Opposition figure Maria Corina Machado spoke to El Nacional Web today on her experiences as a mother whose children have left the country in search of a better life elsewhere. Machado is the head of the Vente Venezuela (VV) party, and arguably the country’s most prominent female politician.
Machado said that she feels a great sense of responsibility towards her three children to help build a better Venezuela, one to which she may one day “bring them back”.
Machado said that since the Maduro government has banned her from leaving the country, she has not been able to attend the graduation ceremonies of any of her children. While the pettiness of the regime hurts her, Machado concedes, she also believes that the struggle is making her stronger. On the effect that the separation is having on her children, Machado said:
They’re grown up now. They know and understand why I’m fighting.
The political figure also said that not a single day goes by when she doesn’t stare into her children’s empty rooms in her home, which reminds her why she fights the Maduro regime:
… this fight is also for them [her children], and so that in the future no other young Venezuelans will have to leave their country to make their dreams come true.
Machado also had a message for all of the mothers in Venezuela who find themselves in a similar position today. Looking forward to a Venezuela on the mend, Machado said:
We will be a better nation. We will have learned a lot, and the pain will be behind us. Today, Mother’s Day, I think specially of those who have lost their children, but who know that they represent the pride of thousands of Venezuelans.
Juan Pablo Pernalete’s Mother: “How I Miss You”
Elvira Pernalete, the mother of slain protester Juan Pablo Pernalete, published a series of pictures on her Instagram account today on which she shared the pain that she feels at having lost her son.
The series of ten pictures show Elvira with her son, from the time that he was an infant until the last years of his life. The pictures show a happy mother-and-son pair playing in playgrounds together, celebrating a birthday, and spending happier days together. One of the pictures is a picture of a Mother’s Day card drawn by a young Juan Pablo that reads “Happy Day Mother”.
Below, the picture thread. I have also translated Elvira’s comment on the post below:
Elvira Pernalete: I only wanted to be your mother… Today, one mother’s day, how I miss you [and seeing] you open the door and watch you appear with your big smile, your hugs, your kisses, your flowers, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, YOU’RE THE BEST MOM IN THE WORLD!
Did you know, I didn’t want much. I only wanted what every mother wishes for and wants for her son: to watch him grow up, achieve, graduate, get married, have grandchildren. Looking back on my life, I see that my happiness came from cooking for you, washing your clothes, wait for you after every game with cold water, look after your scratches and wounds, go for walks with your rescued dogs every afternoon, talk and joke around with you like the great friends and confidants that we were, to laugh at your stories, to talk about your dreams and dream of a future.
Today, I live this horror and the pain [only because] you wanted a better country, a better future for yourself and for Venezuelans. They took your life because you fought for your dreams and your ideals, and they also took mine.
In the midst of my pain, I look to your love, your bravery, your courage. I am your mother and I always will be, because our love transcends beyond the heavens and the earth. I look at the sky and look for your light. I pray that God lets you stay close to me so that I can feel safe. I ask for strength, wisdom, patience, faith, [and] hope for justice for you and to see the Venezuelan that you dreamed about become a reality.
As your mother, I always worked to make your dreams come true, and this is one I will also work to make true: “We are not willing to lose”. I LOVE YOU SON, I am thankful and blessed to be your mother.
Juan Pablo was killed by a National Guard soldier during an anti-government protest in Caracas on April 27 of last year. He was 20 years old.
Diosado Cabello: “Campaign” Turning People Into “Zombies”, Forcing Them to Flee
The vice president of the ruling PSUV party, Diosdado Cabello, said in a television interview today that the reason why Venezuelans are leaving the country in unprecedented numbers is not due to the catastrophic social, political and economic collapse that the country has suffered under Maduro. Instead, Cabello suggested that “a campaign” is tricking people into wanting to leave.
It’s not the revolution’s fault [that people are leaving]. It’s because of a campaign that turns a great number of people into zombies, and families have moved [due to] this great campaign.
Without providing any details on who is orchestrating the so-called campaign or by which mechanisms it operates, Cabello made a plea to Venezuelans who have left the country to return:
Come back to Venezuela. All of those families [who have left[. Come back to Venezuela. You’ll never be better anywhere else in the world than you will be in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan exodus is currently the largest migrant wave in the region. According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of Venezuelan migrants in Latin America increased 900% between 2015 and 2017, from 89,000 to 900,000. Earlier this week, a Red Cross official said that approximately one million Venezuelans have entered Colombia “since the middle of 2017”.
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