Locals Hold Peace Rally for Venezuelans

Posted at: 03/01/2014 11:03 PM
By: Sean Boswell

Locals hold a rally against Venezuelan government today.
Locals hold a rally against Venezuelan government today.

(ABC 6 News) -- Protesters in Venezuela are looking for better government and more freedom. Saturday, Rochester locals hosted its own rally in support of peace in Venezuela.

A group of about two dozen protesters waving signs and chanting, trying to raise awareness to what they call a sad and scary situation in Venezuela.

"I'm here today to represent the Venezuelan people," said Maria Caruso-Keller, one of the protesters.         

Caruso-Keller says she has had enough of the government in her home country of Venezuela. She’s not alone.

"Venezuela has a government that for the past 15 years has pretty much stifled the opposition, there is no opposition even though there have been elections,” said Jose Rivas, also a protester.

President Nicolas Maduro took over the reins from late president Hugo Chavez about a year ago. Chavez was beloved by millions, but was also a man of controversy. He’s also the type of leader that many Venezuelans don't want in office anymore.

"The government needs to be gone! We need somebody new, we need fresh ideas, we need democracy," said Caruso-Keller.

Caruso-Keller wants to know people in her native land are safe and free.

"To be able to speak our minds and be free, don't be scared to go outside, to go grocery shopping and be scared that we're going to be robbed or kidnapped or something," said Caruso-Keller.

Jose Rivas says Venezuela now isn’t what it was when he left 30 years ago.

"The Venezuela that we knew and grew up in is really different than what it is now," said Rivas.

Many say they fear for the lives of family members and loved ones every day this violence continues.