While the U.S. goes broke and the Middle East bursts in riots, students have gone on hunger strike in Venezuela protesting human rights conditions in the country.
Noticias 24 reports that the students are dehydrated but in stable condition. The strike started on Jan. 31 at the OAS office with a dozen students but by now a total of 67 people are on hunger strike in several locations in 10 states across the country, including the Brazilian embassy in Caracas. The protesters are requesting that all political prisoners named in a list of 27 people be freed and given medical attention:
The protestors, mostly university students and youth activists, have been calling for the OAS to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in Venezuela as well as for the release of jailed opposition figures they believe are political prisoners. OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza has said that he could not meet with the protesters in Caracas without an invitation from the Venezuelan government.Bryan Llenas writes, Venezuela Student Hunger Strike Gains Momentum, Gov. Worried About a "Virtual Egypt":
Maduro said the protest should be handled internally, without the intervention of the U.S. or international organizations. He also alleged that right-wing opponents of Venezuela's socialist government were operating from Miami and playing a part in orchestrating the hunger strike.
About a dozen students and activists began a fast Jan. 31 outside the local Caracas office of the OAS. Some news reports have stated that the protest has grown to include as many as 65 protesters.
The protesters have called for the release of several jailed opposition figures, including two jailed members of the national parliament. One of the officials faces corruption charges while the other has been found guilty of being complicit in a homicide.