International Focus Magazine Vol. 2, #9 - Page 32

living VENEZUELA TODAY A A Failed Criminal Narco State As a former Miss Venezuela and a naturalized U.S. citizen, and a pro-democracy human freedom activist, I feel a tremendous responsibility and deep commit- ment to my country of origin. I strongly condemn the narco-terrorist state that has befallen my country under Nicolás Maduro, who suc- ceeded Hugo Chávez. Both men, following orders from Castro controlled Cuba, have pushed the coun- try from democracy to dictatorship. When I lived in Venezuela, my country was an entic- ing paradise and lucrative place for business. Venezu- ela’s inviting tropical climate mirrored the folkloric, fun, and fresh personality of her people. Although the government was not perfect, my country was a peace- ful, exotic and progressive melting pot. Venezuela was considered by many an example of democracy and a political model to be replicated in Latin America. Separation of power and respect for the Constitution and the rule of law characterized our government. There were food programs for the schools. The pub- lic healthcare system, Instituto Venezolano de Seguro Sociales (I.V.S.S.), was able to serve its population and offered outpatient medical services, surgery, and hos- pitalization as well as free prescriptions. I remember with pride the creation of PDVSA Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), in 1975, the inauguration of the Caracas Metro in1983, and the Grand Mariscal de Ayacucho scholarship program that educated so many petroleum engineers and profes- sionals. Those were years of growth, efficient international re- lations, and much respect for Venezuela. All this was before Chávez and Maduro came to power. 32 iF Magazine | October 2017 CRIMINAL AND CORRUPT REGIME For the last two decades, Venezuela has been run by two-insane-populist Fidel Castro wannabes, first Chavez and now Maduro. Both dictators supported the invasion of thousands of Cuban intelligence agents in Venezuelan military, civilian and state institutions and subsidized the Castro brothers with Venezuelan resources. Cuba has an “occupying army” in Venezu- ela, according to the OAS Secretary General, Luis Al- magro. Today, Venezuela is a failed state experiencing its worst