The Night I Saw Guaido

It was a cold and rainy night as I walked past Bolivar Square in Washington, DC and made my way down to the Organization of American States. I am not Venezuelan, however I do have many Venezuelan friends and my deepest desire is for this hemisphere- and for the world to have liberty.

The Americas, a hemisphere full of promise yet delivered polarization and division. For I long for the light of liberty to shine upon this part of the world, and into the hearts of all as we hold up our rights every day.

I have done a project on Juan Guaido for an internship, and was looking forward to seeing in person the leader I heard so much about.

For those who are not aware, two men claim to be the rightful president of Venezuela- Nicolas Maduro (recognized by Russia and China) and Juan Guaido (recognized by Poland, France, Germany, Colombia, and allies)

According to Venezuela's Constitution if the presidency is vacant (or an usurper usurps power) the power falls into the hands of the president of the National Assembly and that would be Juan Guaido.

All I knew about Juan Guaido was from my Venezuelan friends telling me they are looking to him for hope. I followed his Instagram and it was surprisingly ordinary at first- his family and his adorable dog. Guaido is young, a millennial such as I- and plunged into an extraordinary story that is still unfolding before the eyes of the world. One day he was throwing a tennis ball to his yellow lab and the following day the world had their eyes on him as he swore an oath to restore Venezuela to a democracy. He is not a superhero, nor is anybody- but we all are ordinary humans who should be seeking opportunities to better the lives of the world and speak up for the liberty of the people.

Of course, he cannot do it along and there are greater political forces at play which would lead to this article being not a quick, easy read.

Back to the story, I waited in the cold for what seemed like forever to get a glimpse of Guaido- the Venezuelans there were very welcoming and eager to teach me some Spanish words. We laughed and they enjoyed telling me about their country. They even invited me to sing their national anthem with them. Their warm embrace was a perfect reminder about how we all come from different backgrounds and countries with different cultures but at the end of the day we are all humans and we should speak for the rights of all.

I am not Venezuelan, I'm just an American- I cannot tell you what the best way to transition their country into a democracy would be, as Montesquieu would not be very pleased with me if I do. That is up to my Venezuelan friends to tell you. But what I can tell you is there is a difference between dictating as an American what another country should do- and expressing solidarity with the oppressed and standing by their side. So many people misinterpret this the wrong way and either dictate what another country should do in the hopes of liberating them. While those people have good intentions, unless you are living in a situation you cannot dictate how to change it- a couple Latin American liberators mistakenly tried applying principles to Peru with good intentions of giving them liberty, but not fully understanding the labyrinth of Peruvian culture and politics being distinct from Argentina or Venezuela.

The other pitfall that well meaning people fall into is they avoid human rights situations all together because they do not want to look like they are interfering with another country's situation. This is foolish as it turns a blind eye to the injustices of the world. One may not understand all the parts of Russian or German culture, but if people said "Ohhh Hitler is a German problem I should not express any opinion" they would have missed the point all together.

I'm here to tell you today- there is a middle ground, you can stand by people calling for their rights and express support and solidarity. Share their stories and let them know they have your full support. This does not mean you are dictating to them what to do, but what it is doing is giving them a larger channel to be heard.

Amidst our laughter- Guaido emerged! It was tricky to get a picture with the news cameras but I got a few, he struck me as a sincere person with good intentions. He seemed a bit introspective and all the words he used were clear and expressed a single intention- that of liberty. As he stood in the icy rain he proclaimed his desire for the world. At the end of his talk he wanted a group selfie and asked somebody to toss him a phone- I never saw somebody with as good of a catch as Guaido as he reached his long arms out to catch the phone and take a group selfie- a moment that reminded us all of how it is us, the people who make great differences.

That night I carried his words, and the laughter of my Venezuelan friends in my heart as I reflected on what it means to stand in solidarity with those who need it, carry the light of the rights of humanity and always to speak for the people to be liberated.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

While parts of the U.S. are beginning to re-open after months in quarantine, the future of date nights at home is still bright — because, let's face it, wearing masks to a fancy restaurant with your boo in the coming months just doesn't sound fun.

So, if you're looking to have a little romantic fun indoors, we've got just the games for you. Click through the slideshow below for 11 couples games that'll help you two become closer than ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've always been interested in any product that can get me the Jennifer Lopez-esque natural glow. I'm Indian and have medium-toned skin, so getting darker was never really the goal. Rather, I've always looked for a product that would even out my skin tone and cellulite, basically making my legs look Photoshopped.

Now more than ever we're craving that healthy, tan glow most of us only get after spending a week poolside with margarita in hand. We may not be spending an SPF-soaked summer hitting on our local lifeguards. But when we're going on socially-distanced walks outside, taking viral-worthy selfies, or just want to test out the best self-tanners for when you do finally get to show off all the bikinis you binge-purchased through your quarantine boredom, these are the best to ways to glow up, no matter your shade of skin, whether you have uber-sensitive eczema-ridden skin, or just want J-Lo glow, smooth legs.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Quarantine Checkup Week 10: It's Officially Summer, Even In Quarantine

An Odyssey panel discussion about all things quarantine.

Thanks to coronavirus (COVID-19), most of the United States has gone into its own version of quarantine. While no one loves this new way of life we're adjusting to, it's the necessity that will eventually help us fling open our front doors and frolic freely once again!

Premature thinking? Maybe. But while we're in the midst of this quarantine time, we're chatting about the most terrifying, the funniest, and the weirdest thing that quarantine has forced us into recently.

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Father's Day Shirts Under $30 To Gift The Dad Wearing The Same Two Every Day In Quarantine

You've been begging him to change it up, and now he won't have a choice.

Let's be honest: most of our dads are wearing the same shirts today that they probably wore while changing our diapers and holding our hands as we learned to walk. Sure, we love them for it. But whether you're quarantined with him wearing the same two shirts on rotation every week, or every time you FaceTime him, you know what he'll be wearing before he answers the phone, he needs to add some new items to his wardrobe rotation.

And you know dads — they'll feel guilted into using practically anything you were to give them. But these shirts are sure-fire ways to get him to switch up his wardrobe, and he'll be more than excited to wear each and every one of them. Plus, most of them are under twenty dollars, so no harm in dropping more than a couple in to your cart and letting Dad have his pick of his favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Hollis Tuttle To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less

My Boyfriend Has Changed Since Quarantine Began, And I Don't Know What To Do

"All he says is 'I love you,' which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Dear Swoonie B,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year, which has been the best year of my life (as far as i know). Well we go to different schools and are both very involved in sports and school activities which makes it hard to see each other. During this quarantine it is especially hard. Since we haven't seen each other in over a week things are kind of tense. He won't really talk to me much and I always check in on him to make sure he is doing well and to just see how he is, ya know being a girlfriend. Well apparently that is driving him crazy and I don't understand how. I'm not being controling or clingy, i'm just checking in on him. While this is happening, I also have noticed how he just doesn't really care anymore. I'll leave him paragraphs of sweet love letters to wake up to and I encourage him throughout his day but I just don't get it in return. I love him with all of me and I obviously care about him a lot. Also, I've compared how he talked to me before all of this has happened. He was so sweet and caring, texting me a lot and telling me he loves me and just making sure everything is OK but he doesn't do that anymore. All he says is "I love you," which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him. He is a little stressed at home with trying to find another job to pay for his car, constantly having to do things for his mom, being responsible for his siblings, and managing school. I know thats a lot but im doing a lot too right now and going through a lot of the same stuff he is but It seems to me he just does not care and i don't know what to do. Please help me or give me some advice on what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do. Anything at this point will help. Thank you!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "these are unprecedented times," I'd be rich. But that's because it's true!

Keep Reading... Show less
Tower 28

On paper, Amy Liu appears to be one of the most intimidating women in the beauty business. Not only did she launch her beauty marketing career at legendary Smashbox Cosmetics, she went on to lead luxury, high-end brands like Kate Somerville and Josie Maran — just to name a few.

But sitting down to meet Liu for the first time in an underground New York bar over a year ago felt like meeting a friend I'd known since childhood. As she walked into the bar in a chic red dress, it was impossible not to feel her immediate warm presence. When she talks about her history as an entrepreneur (and truly, at heart, she always was one), you don't get the sense that she's selling you anything, though with her impeccable taste, I'd use anything that had her glowing review attached to it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments