Ep. 5 | The Challenge of Sharing Our Story at Home, Abroad, and On Campus (with Maria Fernanda Bello)
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In this episode, we turn our attention to the Venezuelan diaspora, and the unique challenge of sharing their story at home, abroad, and on college campuses.
Today, there are many Venezuelan students and young professionals living in North America and Europe. They're largely eager to help outsiders make sense of Venezuela's complicated situation by sharing their personal experiences with the world. For many of them, however, storytelling becomes a challenge in and of itself when they're often confronted with a downplay of the country's economic collapse, or an outright denial of the systemic human rights abuses carried out by Nicolás Maduro's authoritarian dictatorship. In certain instances, the personal anecdotes of these young Venezuelans are redirected back to them by their peers and professors as lectures on how they're misinformed about the situation in their own country.
These positions are problematic because they abruptly dismiss the personal experiences of those who have survived conditions of conflict. It’s that unique challenge of sharing these perspectives with the world that we focus on in today’s episode.
I’m joined in this segment by Maria Fernanda Bello, an undergraduate student living in Virginia who serves as the Director of Coalition and Outreach for Young Americans Against Socialism, a college organization launched to educate young Americans on the realities of socialism in both a historical and contemporary context.
Like many young students growing up in Venezuela, Maria was an activist fighting against the Maduro dictatorship. The experiences Maria shares in our conversation are among the many that Venezuelans can relate to, and I hope you’ll enjoy listening to the stories that she wants to share with you all.
Maria Fernanda Bello: @mariafbello96
Young Americans Against Socialism: @yaas_america