Venezuela (MNN) — Last weekend, Venezuelan protestors were attacked on the Colombian and Venezuelan border. Reports say protestors were shot with rubber bullets and tear gassed by Venezuelan security forces. On the Colombian side of the border, two trucks with aid supplies were set on fire.
These protests have broken out following the economic crisis, the dwindling supply of resources in Venezuela, and the denial of entry to foreign aid agencies.
A Lack of Resources
“The economy in Venezuela is getting worse, and there is less money for the hospitals, less money for the social investments, or people that are in need,” Trans World Radio’s (TWR) Annabel Torrealba says.
The supply of food, water, and medicine are decreasing, and the inflation rate is spiking, forcing people into poverty. In 2018, reports showed that 90 percent of the people were living in poverty.
Many people are eating only once a day. The New York Post reported last year that Venezuelans lost an average of 24 lbs due to the food shortage and not having the money to purchase food.
Torrealba says Venezuelans who must seek medical attention, face a greater likelihood of dying because there isn’t enough medicine to distribute.
People are facing long power outages as well. For instance, Torrealba says the TWR office in Venezuela did not have power for nearly eleven months.
Foreign Aid Agencies Denied Entry
On top of this chaos, foreign aid organizations are being prevented from entering the nation, which was a major trigger for the protests last weekend.
Foreign aid organizations are being denied entry because President Nicolas Maduro believes it is an American plot to overthrow him, and because the efforts are being managed by Juan Guaido, a leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly.
Guaido has been seen as a threat to President Maduro after declaring himself interim president and calling for new elections.
In a recent ABC News interview, President Maduro accuses America of attempting to start a war in Venezuela to take oil.
President Maduro also defends the attacks and the prevention of foreign aid last weekend saying,
“What would the United States do if a caravan of trucks tried to cross the border without authorization from the relevant authorities? What would the United States do if Mexico wanted to support – something that has not happened, nor will it – wanted to support the forceful entry of trucks at the U.S. border? What would they do? President Donald Trump, when the migrant caravan from Honduras arrived with more than 200 people, he said that if they got close to the border, he was going to shoot them. That is the first thing I ask. We did what we had to do, to defend the border in peace when we had closed the border.”
The need for medicine, food, and other supplies is becoming more desperate in the nation. However, Torrealba says she believes President Maduro is set in his ways and will not change them.
Hope Flourishing in Venezuela
Though the future seems grim for the country, Torrealba says hope is growing.
“Sometimes God allows things to happen, and it’s up to us to use those situations to grow to get closer to God and to pray more, and I think that’s what’s happening in Venezuela because for years, most people were like in their comfort zone for a long time and having fun, but God was left behind, and now, people are realizing that they need God.”
She says churches are growing, people are praying more, and becoming more aware that God is with them.
TWR is sharing the Gospel in schools, laying the foundation for a hopeful future generation.
“It’s the idea to tell those kids there is hope. Things won’t be like that all the time. There is something better for them. There is a future. If you have God in your life, your life can be different.”
Torrealba encourages you to pray for Venezuela. Pray the people will continue growing more in their faith and become hopeful. Pray that God will provide food, medicine, water, and other essentials.
“If we pray, God will do something. God is there, and He is real. So, just keep praying for the people in Venezuela.”
Contact TWR if you would like to send clothes or medicine to people inside Venezuela.