Venezuelan opposition lawmaker Dinorah Figuera talked about the situation in her country at a press conference at the Legislative Assembly in San José, saying that while Venezuela “has plenty of oil, its people wait for garbage trucks [so they can] eat.”
Legislators from various parties organized the press conference on Monday afternoon so that Figuera could voice her opinions and talk to local media.
Figuera discussed the Venezuelan people’s outcry for their right to free access to health, food and security.
“The government is violating all people’s rights. People don’t have access to purchase medicine or food, either because of the government’s bans or because of high inflation,” she said.
She said Venezuelans don’t have access to drinking water or toilet paper, and that refrigerators in homes are all empty.
Figuera also said that public security is a serious problem, with an average of 28,000 murders each year.
“The number of deaths is higher than those caused by wars in other parts of the world,” she told her audience at the Assembly.
Violent protests both for and against the government of President Nicolás Maduro in the past three weeks raised the death toll to 23. The latest protests were sparked by a Supreme Court decision to take over the powers of the opposition-dominated National Assembly.
The lawmaker said that upon her arrival in Costa Rica on Sunday, she received news that two Venezuelan army vehicles were in front of her house in Venezuela.
Atención: Denuncio que Dos Tanquetas de la GNB se apostaron frente a mi casa. Condenamos esta forma de amedrentar. No claudicamos!!!
— Dinorah Figuera. (@Dinorahfiguera) April 23, 2017
She said the Venezuelan people are not demanding a coup, but rather the possibility of national elections. She claimed that “80 percent of the population wants a change in the government.”
She also called for humanitarian aid and said that Venezuelans can not receive help from other countries, because President Maduro refuses to acknowledge that the country is in crisis.
“In Costa Rica too”
Lawmaker Ligia Fallas of Costa Rica’s Broad Front Party dismissed Figuera’s statements following the press conference. She told members of the media that she wanted Figuera to wait at her office until the evening hours so that she could see that many Ticos eat from the garbage, too.
“There are Costa Ricans in that same condition, but that doesn’t give me the right to go to another country and ask for actions against Costa Rica,” Fallas told reporters. She also said that the Costa Rican government’s responsibility is to solve Ticos’ problems, “not interfering with other countries.”
Responding to a question regarding whether she supports the government of Nicolás Maduro, Fallas said that she first supports Bolívar’s dream of a Great Homeland.
Fallas said she is a Chavista and recognizes the “efforts of Commander [Hugo] Chávez to achieve the dream of uniting the ‘Great Homeland’ and eliminate borders.”
“I share his dream and recognize the legitimate, autonomous, sovereign and constitutional government of Nicolás Maduro,” Fallas said.