Sincere apologies for the insomniac rants to follow but I can’t seem to get this off my mind. Its early morning here in Rio de Janeiro and whilst I am excited for the week to follow in this glorious city, I can’t help to appreciate how privileged I am to revel in my own freedom of speech. Granted sometimes this allows me to witter on uncontrollably about whatever nonsense I deem fit for press but that’s the beauty of, the blog/twitter/Facebook-osphere, its free, its open to all users around the world to share their thoughts. It might be as banal as what you had for breakfast, but in more important cases it is the only scope for someone to share an insight into their less priveledged world. Right now the latter could not be more apparent anywhere else than for the people of Venezuela and Ukraine.
The current situations that have errupted in Kiev and Caracas have dumbfounded me. As a traveler I get an occasional glimpse into the outside world through news updates, otherwise I’m pretty tunnel visioned whilst focusing on my latest new surroundings. Checking in to the BBC news home page every now and again reveals freak weather or World Cup updates, but being in the neighbouring country to Venezuela here in Brazil at the moment has brought this new development on to my radar. News reports will go into far more accurate and specific details than I am able to shed light on, but my basic understanding is that extremely vulnerable people have had their one outlet turned off by their governments.
No longer are peaceful marchers in Venezuela able to communicate with the outside world and share the atrocities of the police forces on the streets right now. Nor are Ukrainians able to voice their political opinions whilst their president flees the country to avoid criminal convictions for ordering the execution of their fellow protestors. For this I am truly unable to understand how helpless the people in these nations must be feeling. When your only source of expression is turned off and you cannot see the support the rest of the world has for you in return, you must only be left with a horrific sense of loneliness and abandonment. In times of mass crisis and panic there is no way to share your opinions with the outside world and this must be a truly scary environment to be voiceless in.
Therefore it is with the utmost sincerity that I wish to share my support for the people unable to use social media right now. Not those who have lost 3g signal on the bus and wish to tell you how amazeballs their Friday night out was, or how great their Angry Bird score is, but those who live in a nation with leaders that can’t get their shit together and instead disable social media networks to keep their people afraid of their power.
We are all guilty of sharing unecessary day to day trivial updates on our lives, so if you, like me, wish to share something a little more important today, share your support for those who cannot make significantly more important updates. Social media is indeed at times quite the devil incarnate, but it is also the unique driving force of our times with truly worthwhile causes all over the globe. So I’ll endeavour to share my support today for #Euromaidan and #SOSVenezuela. This is not a reflection of my political stance on these issues but merely my support for those people who cannot have open debate about the things going on in their own countries. I implore you to read and learn more about these precarious situations and think about people who wish to upload photos of riots instead of a cat with a grumpy face.