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By Ruben Schuster, International Secretary of Junge Union.

The path leading to dictatorship is always quite the same. An autocratic leader manipulates elections, diminishes the rights of the opposition and sees people and country as his property. We could quote endless examples in history, where this procedure has lead to absolute power. Especially those countries and governments that celebrate the virtues of socialism, the dreams of egalitarian societies and the absence of individual property and responsibility prove that socialism and dictatorship can be used as synonyms. Marx described "socialism as the dictatorship of the proletariat". We have nothing to add.

The latest brutal example for this well known procedure is Venezuela. The heir of the socialist Hugo Chávez, President Nicolás Maduro, imprisoned hundreds of "uncomfortable" people, who were demonstrating for their democratic rights. Maduro abolished the rule of law, the attorney general had to leave the country since she decided to investigate against the government. The freely elected parliament was overthrown by a so called "constitutional assembly" which only consists of Maduro supporters. In the last couple of months 125 people died in demonstrations, not seldomly shot by government snipers. 250 000 people left Venezuela.

The Venezuelan opposition decided that violence is not an appropriate answer to the governmental misbehaviour. They are doing a great job to draw as much international attention as possible to this conflict, they are touring Europe to meet presidents and prime ministers. Opposition representatives recently met Chancellor Merkel, the French President and the British and Spanish Prime Minister. These Western politicians are united in thinking about sanctions against Venezuela.

We are thinking the time has come to act!

The violence against protestors must stop, the rule of law has to be obeyed and elected parliamentarians must not be limited in their constitutional rights. The Junge Union supports the democratic opposition in Venezuela. We are calling for sanctions against the Maduro regime, the Western community has to stand united and should use all political and diplomatic power to stop the destruction of Venezuelan democracy.

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