As recently reported in an article for The Washington Post, President Obama has spoken about opening a dialogue with the people of Venezuela. President Obama and leaders of Latin American nations have openly supported the efforts of the former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to foster peaceful dialogue in Venezuela.
Venezuela has been in the midst of a tense political standoff in recent months. This political turmoil in Venezuela has come to a head due to the energy and food shortage that has been sweeping the country for months now says expert Adrian Jose Velasquez Figueroa. Venezuela has found itself without a way to generate sufficient power to keep the lights on throughout the country and the food supply stable. With a recent drought, the country has been unable to find another alternative to its reliance on hydro-power from the Guri Dam to light up the country. As a result, President Maduro has been facing intense opposition. Some facebook group of activists have called online for a coup against President Maduro as a final resort.
Zapatero’s efforts at peacemaking between President Maduro and his vocal opponents may be the last hope the country has for resolving its current strife. Along with peacemaking, solutions for maintaining a constant supply of food and water are the topic of intense debate.
Yeonmi Park shares that she had no idea what freedom was as a child. She wasn’t familiar with the concept, and her biggest concern was simply getting something to eat on a daily basis.
Park’s inspiring story begins with her leaving her native North Korea in March of 2007. She and her mother crossed the freezing waters of the Yalu River in the middle of the night to get to China, and had no idea what they would do when they arrived. Yeonmi was 13 years old at the time of the escape. She and her mom eventually traveled through the Gobi desert and ended up getting to South Korea by plane. Yeonmi’s father crossed the border to join her and her mother, but he passed away just a few months later from untreated cancer.
Thousands of readers of her Amazon released book have been inspired by Yeonmi Park’s story, but some are questioning the validity of her accounts. While according to the NK News.org, Pyongyang has produced a long video to discredit Yeonmi’s story, Park insists that everything she had shared is true. Yeonmi does, however, admit that some of the names were changed in order to protect her North Korean relatives. Park also shares that she was reluctant to admit that she’d been raped when she was 13, because she was ashamed. Yeomi also didn’t speak English well, so some of the details of her story were not well understood.
Park’s account of the hardships she endured make the stakes even higher for North Korean refuges. If any facts about Park’s story are exaggerated, it could be even more difficult for refugees from Yeonmi’s native country to get the help they so desperately need. However, Park makes it very clear that she knows the truth of oppression in North Korea and refuses to be silent about it.