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Venezuelan political activist Pedro Mena dies of COVID-19 in Miami


Venezuelan activist Pedro Mena with the Secretary General of the OAS.

Pedro Mena / Facebook

The 73-year-old Venezuelan activist, lawyer and journalist Pedro Mena, who stood out for his fight to restore democracy in Venezuela, died this Sunday at a hospital in Broward County, in South Florida, after suffering complications related to COVID- 19.

Her family reported that Mena, who suffered from diabetes, battled the virus for nearly a month and died at 4:58 a.m. Sunday at Memorial Hospital Miramar, north of Miami.

“My father fought for his life for almost a month after contracting COVID-19. We never anticipated that our greatest fear would come true. With all the emotional pain and stress that death brings, it also comes with financial difficulties. The funds raised will go towards the funeral and cemetery expenses, ”said his daughter Stephany Mena Domínguez on the GoFundMe site.

Mena was a deputy in the Venezuelan Congress and in Miami he served for several years as the general secretary of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática de Venezuela (MUD), advocating for the return to democracy in his country and for Venezuelan immigrants in the United States. United.

The activist was also one of the organizers of the presidential election process in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2012 which was attended by thousands of Venezuelans, among other important political events in South Florida.

In 2013 he received the Order of Merit from the United States Congress for his “heroic contribution to participatory democracy.”

“You leave us your teachings, your love for life, for family and for the freedom of your country. You will remain alive in our hearts, ”the family said on Mena’s Instagram account.

Several non-politicians and diplomats reacted to Mena’s death, highlighting his struggle to regain democracy in Venezuela and advocating for support to achieve that goal from various United States governments.

The former secretary general of the MUD in Venezuela, Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, said that the exiled activist was a Venezuelan democrat, in solidarity with his compatriots from the diaspora and “actively united. A prayer and an affectionate memory for him (…) “.

US Senator Rick Scott said on his Twitter account that he was saddened by the news of Mena’s death: “Pedro was a good friend and a caring man, committed to the cause of Venezuela. Ann and I send our deepest condolences to her family. “

The ambassador of the interim government of Venezuela in Canada, Orlando Viera-Blanco also spoke through a message on Twitter.

“We want to express to all the relatives and friends of the journalist @pmenamiami our deepest condolences for his sensitive departure, an integral, tireless Vzlano, defender of freedom and democratic restoration of Vzla. Fraternal friend. Peace to his remains, “said the diplomat.

The former mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, highlighted as Mena’s legacy his commitment to honor his faith “for the free homeland.”

“Together with Mitzy (wife) trying to assimilate the blow left by the departure of a good friend, Pedro Mena. An all-terrain democratic fighter, loyal, brave, he devoted himself in exile to defend the cause for freedom in Venezuela, “he said on his Twitter account.

Carlos Ortega, former president of the Venezuelan Workers’ Confederation (CTV), lamented the death of his “old friend and comrade in struggles (…) My condolences to Rosa, her children and grandchildren to whom I send my solidarity and encouragement in these difficult times. Rest in peace brother”.

Mena’s family is raising funds for the funeral through the website GoFundMe.

“During this pandemic, we understand that times are tough and we want to thank you for any help you can provide. Please continue to keep my father and my family in your thoughts and prayers, ”he said.

Mena is survived by his wife Rosa, his children Edward, Stephany, Edwin, Pedro, and Mayerling, and his grandchildren Jesús, Pedro, Mary, and Peter.

Journalist and editor with specialization in Latin America, judicial, business and local issues related to the Latin American community. Much of her career was spent in international news agencies. Her research work “Emigrate to death: Venezuelans murdered in Latin America” received the 2019 FSNE and SPJ Sunshine State awards.