WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Luly Beckles is a native Venezuelan from Caracas living in Winston-Salem since 1993.
She moved to the United States to finish her Associates Degree at Forsyth Technical Community College and then her Bachelor’s Degree at Salem College. She gained her citizenship years after.
“I was born in the strongest democracy in Latin America,” Beckles says. “I had freedom of speech and freedom to express myself.”
She remembers being able to visit her homeland whenever she wanted, but things changed in 1999.
Hugo Chavez was democratically elected as president. During his government, he instated socialist policies that included many changes to the constitution that benefited his party and its beliefs.
His 18-year government was a dictatorship that left a powerful and rich nation in ruin.
Beckles says that to understand Venezuela, “people should imagine living in the Land of the Free of Latin America, and in 18 years under one continuous government, the country being totally destroyed.”
Today she is a member of Venezolanos In The Triad, an organization dedicated to provide a support group to Venezuelans in the Triad area and beyond, who have been impacted by the crisis back in their homeland.
The crisis has affected the wealthy and the poor alike.
The extreme lack of living essentials available to citizens in Venezuela has made her family, like many others here in the U.S., to ship packages out to help their loved ones survive.
Things as simple as a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk are not accessible, and when they are, they are very expensive.
Small shipping companies in Texas and Florida ensure the arrival of these packages within 5 weeks.
Beckles’ family has also committed to help those in her hometown in need. In addition to feeding and sustaining their own family, they donate food, toiletries and clothes to a local nursing home.
The political crisis and corruption in Venezuela continues to be on the rise. After calling to protest Sunday’s election, two prominent opposition leaders were arrested overnight at their homes by the government.
Antonio Ledezma is the mayor of the Venezuelan capital, and Leopoldo Lopez is an opposition party leader. Both had been on house arrest.
If you or anyone you know would like to help families in Venezuela survive, contact Luly Beckles for more information on projects by Venezolanos In The Triad at 336-409-0526.
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