WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - With shouts of "Maduro Must Go" and "Viva Venezuela", a group of about 100, mostly young Venezuelans, gathered Monday evening at CityPlace in downtown West Palm Beach.
They were there to show support for university students back home who are protesting against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. "We are just so tired of the government," said Mariangel Matos, a Venezuelan native who grew up in Palm Beach County. "We don't want to be another Cuba. We need people's help."
They say they are incensed about reports from government and the media that at least three people died last Wednesday during student protests in Caracas and other cities around the country. "We are under the control of a foreign government, under the power of the Cubans and that is unacceptable," said Frank Abreu, another protester.
Before meeting at CityPlace, the group had protested earlier in the day at the corner of Glades Road and State Road 7/ U.S. 441 in Boca Raton and in front of Doña Arepa Restaurant at 3090 South Jog Road in Greenacres, said Laura Suarez, one of the organizers of the protests in Palm Beach County.
About 100 people also protested against the Maduro government Saturday in Doral in Miami-Dade County.
They are using social media, especially "SOSVenezuela" Facebook page, to communicate the time and place of the protests and to learn what is going on in the country, Suarez said.
She vowed to continue to protest daily, for as long as necessary, until the world listens to the plight of the Venezuelan people and demand an end to the Maduro government.
She said they plan to protest again Tuesday. The protest is planned for 4 p.m. at Florida Atlantic University.