Rally held in Utah to support Venezuelan protestors

Posted at 5:38 PM, Feb 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-22 19:38:52-05

SALT LAKE CITY –Venezuelans around the world rallied to bring awareness to the conflict in their home country, and Salt Lake City was among the cities were demonstrations were held.

The international movement “SOS Venezuela” orchestrated the event, and a large crowd gathered on the steps of the Utah State Capitol Saturday.

Event organizer Julio Mendez spoke about their cause.

“We need help because the dictator that is running our country is killing us,” Mendez said.

Activists have taken to the streets in Venezuela to protest a government they view as a dictatorship, and at times the clashes have turned violent.

Most of those at Saturday’s event in Salt Lake City are from Venezuela, but there were others there to offer their support.

Antonio Uban said the situation in Venezuela is dire.

“We ask for help to any country that want to support us to get rid of this dictatorship,” Uban said. “They are killing our people in the streets. The National Guard and the Army is in the streets killing our people.”

Thomas Reams of the American Venezuelan Association of Utah said it’s important to make people aware of the situation.

“There's a lot of atrocities that are going on down there, and a lot of Americans don't know about it,” he said. “And really the only way that we've been sharing it is through Facebook, and through Twitter and things like that, and there are a lot of really bad things happening to the students that are protesting.”