Anti-government protests are destroying the Venezuelan capital of Caracas as government opposition leaders continue to encourage protesters to rally in the streets. The Venezuelan people are protesting over President Nicolas Maduro's failure to get a grip on a sinking economy and a crime rate that is spiraling out of control.
Student protesters in Venezuela are getting quite creative with their barricading tactics, and now the place has become utter chaos. You can see burning objects everywhere and streets blocked off with tires, barrels, cardboard boxes, furniture and wooden pallets.
Along with the physical destruction of the cities, there have been brutal attacks on protesting civilians by the abusive National Guard. Various accounts of the military brutally beating up protesters have been reported and have gone viral on social media. However, Venezuela's journalists have been criticized for not doing such a good job with their reports. Things are not looking pretty for Venezuela.
Internationally-known Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez took to Twitter to express her concern
over Venezuela's imminent descent into journalistic corruption. She fears the South American country will inevitably end up like Cuba, where you are unable to trust anything the media reports.
Sánchez tweeted, "#Venezuela te quieren hacer lo mismo que le han hecho a #Cuba"
This was among the many messages Yoani sent out showing her regret for Venezuela's incredibly violent upheaval and the dissonance she feels when she reads reports that don't coincide with every act of violence occurring in that country.
She also tweeted, "#Venezuela mucho de lo que te ocurre tiene el sello inigualable de la Plaza de la Revolucion de La #Habana Que pena me da!"
Sánchez has become a very influential blogger as the voice of a repressed Cuba. She was even one of Time's 100 Most Influential People, and her blog was selected as one of the Top 25 Blogs by Time and CNN.
Yoani feels that the attitude Venezuela's government has taken to the recent protests in Venezuela is reminiscent to what occurred in Havana's Plaza de la Revolucion and how the Cuban government reacted back then. She fears that history might be repeating itself and wants to warn Venezuela not to go down that road.
As a Cuban-American in exile, I can relate to Yoani's fear. My family left Cuba over 22 years ago because of an oppressive regime. It is sad to see another country suffer the same fate. While I wasn't around to see all the riots and carnage of the Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s, I did see the repercussions. It was 1977 when I was born, but that Cuba was broken and shattered, and it was no wonder families tried so hard to bring their loved ones to the United States. The mass exodus Venezuela has had is all too familiar.
Yoani also expressed disgust at the Cuban media, tweeting, "Dificil entender manipulada informacion que da la prensa oficial de #Cuba sobre sucesos en #Venezuela Es un asco periodistico! #Verguenza"
The Cuban media is famous for reporting selective information to further their propaganda, or just omitting information altogether. Venezuela seems to be mimicking Cuba's journalistic ethics, which does not bode well for the South American country.