Tags: Marco Rubio | bachelor | Juan Pablo Galavis | Venezuela | protest

'Bachelor' Star Juan Pablo Galavis 'Praying' for Venezuelans

Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 08:51 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

"The Bachelor" star Juan Pablo Galavis has thrown his support behind embattled protesters in strife-torn Venezuela as south Florida gears up for a series of rallies against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Galavis, who was born in the United States but lived in Venezuela from the age of two until going to college in New York, resides in Miami where a large contingent of Venezuelan nationals fled to after escaping Maduro's and former President Hugo Chavez's regime.

After three people were killed in street clashes with Venezuelan forces in Caracas and following the arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, Juan Pablo posted a series of tweets in English and Spanish sympathizing with the protesters.

Juan Pablo, who is currently appearing on the hit ABC romance reality show, said in one posting, "I'm going to bed praying for my country."

According to Wetpaint.com, he posted several links to sites featuring photos of protesters being beaten and covered in blood, while declaring that they were images that Maduro "don't want the world to see."

In another posting with photos attached, Galavis declares, "The faces of the students in my country says it all. Sad."

"The Bachelor" star urged protesters to continue the fight for better living conditions in Venezuela, which has been beset by runaway inflation, alleged corruption, high unemployment, and other economic woes. He wrote, "Change is within all of us. Do not give up. I won't!"

Single dad Juan Pablo works for the Venezuelan Museum of Baseball and Hall of Fame, and often travels to major league ballparks to talk to and collect articles from Venezuelan players.

In his hometown of Miami, scores of Venezuelans were preparing to stage protests in support of the Venezuelan "resistance," and they will be backed by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, an outspoken critic of Chavez and now Maduro, according to Breitbart.

"The world must wake up to what's happening in Venezuela, as the government's unprecedented wave of repression is beating, jailing, and even killing innocent Venezuelans, particularly its young people," Rubio said.

"Courageous Venezuelans who want nothing more than a better future dictated by true democratic order deserve the American people's solidarity. Maduro and his thugs should know that the world is watching, and that they will be held accountable for their cruelty and violations of human rights.

"The people of Venezuela have suffered long enough, and as they continue taking to the streets in peaceful protest, I stand with them and against the Venezuelan government's brutal and lethal tactics. Our condolences go out to the families who have lost their loved ones during this unsettling time."

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama urged Maduro to release the protesters detained in the anti-government demonstrations and address the "legitimate grievances" of its people.

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