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Ricardo Illanes

It is with great sorrow and pride that I write the following to you, my beautiful and courageous sister.

As Venezuela travels through itís most dangerous and difficult of times, I am filled with wonder just thinking of how that beautiful little girl, the one I use to think was a nuisance and a pest, the one that I thought weak and prone to tears, has grown to become an inspiration to the free world.

Today you, my Venezuelan sister, have showed the world, your strength of convictions, your unwavering love of country, your unsurpassed heroism and most of all, your unbreakable spirit.

That desire to leave, as your legacy to my nieces and nephews, a free country, with democracy and where the rule of law is paramount.

As I look at some of the pictures, of you standing alone in front of hundreds of Chavezís praetorian guard and demanding justice, with only your bravery as a shield, of you marching down the streets, filled with toxic gases, armed only with the flag and the strength of your convictions, of you being beat by a national guardsman and getting up to wave the flag one more time, I am filled with wonder, where does so much heroism come from?

You, my sister, the one with the loudest voice, today you raise it to demand justice, democracy and a free country.

By know my eyes are full of tears and the lump in my throat grows, thinking, how much abuse you have taken, by the despot that is trying to rule your country, little that he knows, as I do today, on how strong you are, in that he lost the battle already, he took on the only thing he cannot defeat, MY VENEZUELAN SISTER.

You, the wives of Pedro Vasquez, Luis Perez Amoros, Santiago Monteverde and the hundreds of political prisoners, you, the widows of countless of men assassinated by Chavez and his goons, struggle all day long, to maintain your family and your country intact, you visit your husbands, the ones assassinated by Chavez, at their graves, you go see the ones being tortured, illegally detained, kidnapped by the arm forces, and with Herculean strength, forgetting your pain and struggles, you smile at them, you tell them to hang on, not to despair, that everything is going to be alright, then you go home and you look at your children imploring eyes, smile at them and explain one more time why Dad is not coming home tonight, again, but everything will be alright, not to worry, daddy will be home soon.

When did you become so strong? Is it that the blood of Bolivar really runs through you veins? , you, my sister, that wonít allow a dictator to destroy your country and the future of your family, you are the true revolution!! , the one Simon Bolivar dreamed for all of us, the revolution that claims freedom, democracy, pluralism, rule of law, the revolution that gives you, my sister, a country free of this obscenity brought to you by Chavez and his puppet master, Castro.

You are, without a doubt, the soul of Venezuela, the daughter of Bolivar and the mother of our future.

I feel ashamed today, that I put you in this position and that I do not have the strength of your convictions, that my sense of duty is not as strong as yours, that my capacity for sacrifice pales in comparison to yours, that my pain threshold is not near yours.

I thank you, for your struggle, your passion for justice, your love of country, your vision of the future.

But most of all, I thank you, for the pride that I feel, that you allow me, to call myself, your brother.


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