Violinist Wuilly Arteaga Injured By Maduro Thugs, Human Rights Calls On US Gov To Condemn Violence

As the protestor death toll in Venezuela passes 100, we just learn that dissident Wuilly Arteaga was injured in the face by buckshot from the Bolivarian National Guard while peacefully playing his violin in the streets. The buckshot narrowly missed his eye, and Wuilly has undergone surgery for his injuries. A criminal investigation into this act of aggression has been opened by lawyers Omar Estacio and Eligio Navarro.

In June, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) had presented Wuilly with a new violin to replace the one damaged by the Security Forces, naming it after his slain friend and fellow protestor Armondo Cañizales. VOC Executive Director Marion Smith is in direct contact with Wuilly and others on the ground. He has offered the following statement:

“Every time that Wuilly plays his violin, it is an inspiring act of bravery. We are horrified to learn of the injuries he sustained today while peacefully protesting. This is yet another tragic reminder that Maduro’s regime is waging a war on unarmed protestors, many of whom are young teenagers or adults. Unfortunately, Maduro’s socialist policies have made it difficult and at times impossible for patients to receive necessary health care. As Wuilly begins his recovery, our thoughts and prayers are with him and all those who are victims of the violence perpetuated by Maduro and Cuba’s communist regime.”

Wuilly Arteaga “We gave this violin to Wuilly, so that through his music, he may continue to remind Venezuelans that those who love freedom can change the world.” — Marion Smith from Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Photo: Youtube

Smith added: “The United States must condemn the brutal violence of the Maduro regime, who has detained 3,500 people since the protests began earlier this year, in addition to holding 400 political prisoners captive. We urge US officials to call for the release of all political prisoners and to demand that Cuba withdraw military and intelligence officials from Venezuela immediately. The Castro regime’s imperialism in Latin America should not be tolerated. We as Americans have a responsibility to ensure that a new communist dictatorship does not become reality before our very eyes.”

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a Washington-based, non-profit educational and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes. VOC was authorized by an unanimous act of Congress on December 17, 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton.

Recently, U.S President Donald Trump sent a letter in which he described Nicolas Maduro as "bad leader," and threatened to eliminate economic support to the South American country.

"Yesterday, the Venezuelan people again made clear that they stand for democracy, freedom, and rule of law," Trump wrote in a statement. "Yet their strong and courageous actions continue to be ignored by a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator. The United States will not stand by the Venezuela crumbles."

The message caused great discomfort among senior Venezuelan executives, and the response was immediate and challenging. "Our country is not given any kind of orders nor is it ruled by any foreign government," said the head of state in his Twitter account.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada, also  repudiated the White House statement at a press conference. "Trump has committed an aggression against a Latin American country," the official said. Moncada said that the U.S. was "xenophobic and racist" and said they would not accept humiliation from anyone. "The United States threatens the people," said the chancellor. "The dignity of our people is at stake," he added.

Protests against Maduro since April 1 have brought thousands to the streets demanding elections, but has also left more than 100 people dead, according to an official toll. The opposition in Venezuela is brutally repressed and everyone is asking for peace in the midst of the crisis.

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