Campus Life, Community, International, News, Politics

Political developments in Venezuela: The University of Miami responds

The events of the Venezuelan crisis have recently intensified, growing into a global affair that has affected millions of people around the world, including the more than 130 Venezuelan international students who study at the University of Miami.

Many students, such as junior Astrid Pena, have many family members back in Venezuela. Pena is an active member of the University of Miami’s Union de Venezolanos. She said the situation aches her to her core.

“I am constantly worried about what is going to happen, not only with the government but with my friends and family,” said Pena, who is a sociology and psychology major.

Pena said her loved ones are divided as a result of the conflict.

“Some of my family members left the country looking for a better future; others did not have the opportunity to leave Venezuela,” Pena said.

According to a new report by the United Nations, over 3 million Venezuelans have fled their homes since 2015, migrating to places like Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.

The recent magnitude of protests has also instilled an uneasy feeling in those on the outside of it all. Pena described the distress she endures when she hears of the events.

“Venezuelans have taken to the streets without fear of leaving anything behind in the protests, including their lives,” said Pena. “Every time I hear of a friend or family member going out to protest, although I am proud of their courage, I can’t help but to fear for their lives.”

Another member of UNIVEN, Joanna Valencia, said the situation in Venezuela is affecting her sense of personal identity.

“Although miles separate me from my birthplace, no amount of distance can take away the pain I feel when I see what my people are going through,” Valencia said. “Even though my heart hurts for my people, I can feel the hope among us and see our liberty on the horizon.”

The situation in Venezuela is fickle; there are new headlines every day and updates every hour. Maria Pardo, a proud Venezuelan and a professor within the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, said she believes there are misconceptions about what’s happening.

Pardo said she wants people to know that there is no far-right movement in Venezuela, something Maduro has expressed a fear towards and is actively trying to prevent.

“Juan Guaidó is relatively a centrist, not a radical rightist, but the people support him because he’s a representation of democracy,” said Pardo.

Another misconception she addressed is that Guaidó was not elected by Trump but was rather elected by the people to represent the National Assembly. That role requires him to fulfill the responsibilities of the executive branch, where a currently void lies.

Pardo emphasized that the Venezuelan crisis is such a complex and unique situation that it’s hard to truly make any judgments about the course of action we should pursue.

In a survey of 10 Venezuelans, every person strongly suggested that the United States should avoid pursuing military intervention in Venezuela. The proposed alternatives were diverse: one student said the only way to resolve this situation is a domestic coup d’etat while another student encouraged strategic international collaboration.

“Nobody knows what we should do,” said another sophomore who has a large portion of his family residing in Venezuela. “The situation is so complicated and messy that there is no one true solution for now. But I know we will find one eventually.”

Another student, sophomore Arturo Galan suggested a more positive approach. Although he is a Miami native, he said he holds strongly to his Venezuelan roots.

“Although the situation is terrible and things are progressively getting worse, they stay happy throughout it all,” Galan said. “You still see kids in the street, and people are holding on to family values more than ever. People carry on with their lives even though all this is going on. You have to keep going. That’s the thing about Venezuelans, my people, they’re hopeful.”

February 4, 2019

Reporters

Noor Khaled


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

There is, indeed, a three-man quarterback race at the University of Miami. As spring came to a close ...

The Miami Hurricanes, for the past few years, have gone as far as their defense would take them, let ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s spring game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando: ▪ The quarterback play was ...

The Miami Hurricanes just wrapped up their spring game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, where th ...

Mark Richt, speaking publicly for the first time since retiring as the Miami Hurricanes’ coach, said ...

Yvette Soler, B.M. ’96, better known as Tigrilla Gardenia, connects her music engineering background ...

Preservation Week, from April 21 to April 27, is focused on highlighting the importance of learning ...

There are numerous ways to connect with the University of Miami during the two-day tech conference o ...

A symbol of both French heritage and Catholicism, Paris’ 850-year-old gothic cathedral was gutted by ...

The Division of Student Affairs hosted a reception to present campus-wide awards and scholarships to ...

Nearly 10,000 fans got a glimpse of things to come at Camping World Stadium ...

The No. 23 Miami Hurricanes dropped the series finale on Saturday at No. 8 Louisville, 9-6. ...

Making its fourth straight appearance in the ACC Championship semifinals, the fifth-seeded and No. 2 ...

It took much longer than anticipated, but the No. 23 Miami Hurricanes outlasted No. 8 Louisville, 16 ...

The fifth-seeded and No. 21-ranked Miami women's tennis team knocked off fourth-seeded and nint ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.