Mayor, guests show support for Venezuela protests

Bellefontaine Mayor Ben Stahler hosted an impromptu gathering Wednesday with dozens of Venezuelans who now live and work in the community.

vene visit

Several dozen Venezuelans now working and living in the area gathered Wednesday afternoon with Bellefontaine Mayor Ben Stahler in a show of solidarity with their countrymen who are staging prolonged protests in the South American country. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

The event took place to show solidarity with the workers’ countrymen who are staging protests across the South American nation.

“I think what tugs at my heart strings the most, is that many of these good people had to leave family behind in Venezuela,” the mayor said. “It’s got to be tough.”

Stahler agreed to host the gathering so the Venezuelans could have a central location to rally against the socialist policies of their home country’s President Nicolas Maduro.

The Associated Press reports Juan Guaido, the new leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, turned up the heat by declaring himself interim president before a mass of demonstrators in Caracas. He said it is the only way to end the Maduro “dictatorship”  in Venezuela, which has seen millions flee in recent years to escape sky-high inflation and food shortages. 

Read complete story in Thursday's Examiner
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