Protesters took to the streets this week after the leader of Venezuela’s opposition declared he was “beginning the final phase of Operation Freedom.” In the clashes that ensued, more than 50 people were taken to the hospital after being shot with rubber bullets or suffering other traumatic injuries. Four people have been confirmed dead, including two teenagers.
In one instance, a military vehicle even appeared to plow into a crowd of protesters.
But the deadliest moments in Venezuela are ones you won’t see on the news. Not because they’re censored or too graphic … but because they’re happening behind closed doors. They take place in the homes of families where the refrigerators are empty and the pantries are bare.
While chaos reigns in the streets of Caracas, death lingers in the homes of the innocent children who won’t eat again tonight.
The tug-of-war between leaders keeps Venezuela in the news, but you won’t read as many stories about what’s happening behind the scenes: people dying without basic essentials.
Hyperinflation means that even families who once lived a comfortable, middle-class lifestyle are now starving to death.
At the end of 2018, the prices of food staples and other necessities were doubling every 19 days, making it impossible for many Venezuelans to eat more than one meal a day. Three million Venezuelans have chosen to flee the country in order to survive.
For those who remain, the situation continues to get worse. People are desperate for change, leading to protests like those that flooded the streets of Venezuela earlier this week.
Our organization, World Help, has partners on the ground in Venezuela who are working to distribute emergency food and other supplies as quickly as possible. One man has even turned his own home into a temporary shelter to house and feed 35 people.
During the protests Tuesday, one of these partners was able to shoot us a quick message expressing just how dire the situation had grown. He could barely drive through town when he went out to assess how widespread the protests were.
“All the streets are loaded with debris, burning tires, car bumpers, fenders, trees, everything you name, it is on the roads everywhere,” he described. “I’m in a parking lot right now and can hear all the horns and whistles of everything going on. It’s serious here.”
But as the streets fill with rubble, the stomachs of many Venezuelan families remain empty. In these scary, uncertain times, they need the comfort of knowing that they aren’t alone and that the rest of the world is doing more than just watching their suffering.
We need to do something to help.
That’s why World Help’s partners have been on the front lines distributing food and meeting other physical needs in whatever ways they can. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this food is literally saving lives. But they need more as their inventory continues to dwindle.
Children and other people in Venezuela are still dying. And even if their stories aren’t the ones making headlines, we can’t afford to forget them.
Noel Yeatts is an active advocate for social justice and humanitarian needs around the world. With over 20 years of experience in humanitarian work, Noel is an author, speaker, and the President of World Help, an international, Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of impoverished communities around the world. Noel regularly takes the stage for speaking engagements and advocacy events around the country and has been widely recognized for her groundbreaking book, “Awake: Doing a World of Good One Person at a Time.” To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
Read more at Deadliest Moments in Venezuela Not Caught on Camera