One-woman protest calls for justice, freedom in Venezuela


FOR MYERS, Fla. Anne Hecker is a mother, a grandmother and a native Venezuelan who is standing up for her homeland.

But living 1,700 miles away didn’t stop Hecker from standing at the corner of Colonial Boulevard and Metro Parkway Saturday afternoon with a large sign and an upside down Venezuelan flag symbolizing a distressed country.

“The reason I’m doing this is because worldwide Venezuelans are protesting the regime,” she said.

Venezuelans have been suffering through an economic crisis largely caused by President Nicolas Maduro’s government, CNN reported. The dwindling economy has led to massive shortages of food and medical supplies across the country.

The Venezuelan Supreme Court dissolved the parliament on March 29 and transferred all legislative powers to itself, CNN reported. The decision was reversed three days later, but by that time anti-government protests had already begun.

Restless demonstrators have taken to the streets demanding elections, freedom for jailed activists and foreign aid to offset their economic crisis, according to Hecker.

The issue hits close to home for Hecker as her daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren are still living in Venezuela.

“I have been protesting for 19 years now and at first it was against Chavez and now it is Maduro,” she said. “Maduro is a dictator and he has destroyed the country. Children are dying of starvation, literally dying of starvation.”

Hecker hopes her one-woman rally will draw attention and awareness to her home country.

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