Libertad

 

¡LIBERTAD!

¡LIBERTAD!

We chant together as we walk arm and arm in the streets. The sun shines against the brightly colored buildings– the glittering paints at odds with the hunger stricken faces. Thousands push against the PNB shields of the police and hundreds of the police push back against the crowd. Behind the police, smoke drifts between the city buildings. The aid for us—medicine, food, toiletries, all burning on Maduro’s order—all burning in front of us. The smell of food wafts over the crowd and our stomachs rumble—its been days since our last meal.

¡NO QUEREMOS MADURO!

¡NO QUEREMOS MADURO!

We chant again and again. The desperation for change apparent as we wave our embroidered star flags of blue, red, and yellow.

¡LIBERTAD POR VENEZUELA!

¡DESAYUNA!

¡DESAYUNA!

¡DESAYUNA!

You chant again and again pushing past others to reach the supplies. But to no avail. The orange flames lick the boxes, shrinking them down to ash within minutes. The demonstration of power now over, the police give up on simple shields and bean bag bullets. As one, they throw down their shields and switch to live ammunition and machetes. The officer in front of you swings his machete at a young couple. You turn away from their inevitable end– just as the first wave of screams erupt over the square as bullets find their marks. Engines rumble as armored trucks run over the protesters on the other side of the square. The person clinging to your arm on your left disappears under a tire, the person to your right falls from a bullet. Blood soaks your shoes–smoke and metal enters your nose. Yet still, you protest forward. Hands from others reach for you and together you push forward.

¡LIBERTAD!

¡LIBERTAD!

No news cameras are seen. No more aid is sent.

¿Quién más peleará?

 ¿Quién más pasará hambre?  

Photo credit to NBC

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