Activist Scarlet Estrada on Hugo Chávez and the Venezuelan political crisis

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Prisoner image

Most people know that Venezuela is a country in the middle of a serious financial and political crisis. However, we make a lot of assumptions about how the crisis began and just how bad it is.

Instead of falling into chaos because of one particular incident, the crisis in Venezuela is the result of a twelve-year period of broken promises, mismanagement of resources, and the slow erosion of laws that protected civil liberties. This has led to not only rampant poverty and hunger, but also somewhere between 230 to 1,000 political prisoners due to their opposition to President Nicolás Maduro’s regime.

That number includes close friends and family members of Scarlet Estrada. Although Scarlet now lives in Toronto, she has first-hand experience living through the rise of Hugo Chávez and understands the slow process in which dictatorships can arise under your nose. Despite the grave conditions of the country, Scarlet now works to give others a clearer idea of the warning signs and to spread awareness of the work that activists are doing within Venezuela to bring attention to the crisis (including artwork coming from within the Venezuelan prison system).

Scarlet joins hosts Gilad Cohen and Simona Ramkisson to discuss the confusion around the Venezuelan crisis, reframing political prisoners as hostages, and the importance of art in sharing the truth.

Download the episode transcript here.

Hosted by Gilad Cohen (Founder, JAYU) and Simona Ramkisson, produced and edited by Brandon Fragomeni and Alex Castellani. Associate Producer: Ron Ma.

Image: Unsplash - Ye Jinghan.

Theme music created for The Hum by Jeff Morrow.

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