News 12 11pm / Saturday, Feb. 23, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- People in Venezuela are in the middle of a protest--one that's lasted for weeks. Venezuelan students have hit the streets demanding freedom from the government and now others are joining the cause. News 12 takes you to a local protest and tells us why it hits so close to home for some here in Augusta.
We want peace is what many Venezuelans around the world are chanting.
"The violence is indescribable," said Marilena Machaen
Machaen is one of the millions protesting the lack of democracy and killings happening in her country for the last month.
"It's not fair that students are dying or that people are dying in the streets defending what they believe,"she said.
Kids, stay at home moms, and even doctors-- all geared up to hit the streets of Augusta to raise awareness for the South American country.
"This is difficult for them to understand," Diana Johnson told News 12.
Johnson's kids were born here in the states, but she wants them to know you're never too young to stand up for what you believe in.
"They also can support my people and their people,"she said.
Before hitting Lumpkin Road united in protest-- Dr Melina Janardhanam-- says as a physician who studied in the country, the situation is bad.
"When you can see your own people not being able to be cared or cured in any of the hospitals--there's absolutely no supplies," Janardhanam told News 12.
The Venezuelan government claims these riots are headed by the US government--something some find almost comical.
"It's a joke. They just have to blame somebody," said Machaen
The rally was planned only days ago and Pastor Angel Maestre says the feedback was overwhelming.
"People started calling and calling and asking where is it going to be and what time," he said
With deputy escorts, the cars rolled down the streets and stopped at Pastor Angel's church. The group sang the US anthem, prayed, cried, and let balloons in the air with hopes things will get better.
"We want to be able to go back to our country and feel safe," Machaen told News 12.
The local media is controlled by the government and many us journalist have had visas revoked and asked to Venezuela.