Formiche dedicates this Italian Liberation Day to those Nations, like Hong Kong and Venezuela, that still wait for their own April 25th. From Joshua Wong to Mariela Magallanes, an exceptional testimony of why Freedom cannot be taken for granted

As Italy celebrates its 75th anniversary from the Liberation from the Nazi-Fascist occupation on April 25th, 1945, other Nations and peoples still wait to join these celebrations. Unfortunately, many just cannot do it. This is why this year Formiche has decided to dedicate this day to those Nations that are currently living under authoritarian regimes and do not enjoy fundamental freedoms and have to live with a daily violation of human rights.

Venezuela and Honk Kong are two remarkable reminders that Liberty cannot be taken for granted. The Southern American country has gone through one of the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century and still lives under the domination of a brutal regime, the government headed by Nicolas Maduro, that has no interest in its people’s wealth and freedom and tramples, convicts and jails the opposition leaders.

On the other hand, Hong Kong finds itself caught in a never-ending limbo. Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers have flooded the streets during the last year to demonstrate against the Chinese Communist Party (Ccp) suppression of freedoms and Carrie Lam‘s pro-Beijing government violation of human rights. Thousands have been arrested, leaders of the protest have been threatened and refused permission to travel abroad. Today, the COVID-19 outbreak is driving the international media’s attention away from these events.

This is exactly what the Ccp wants. Indeed, this is what every authoritarian regime wants: nothing is better than a worldwide emergency to turn the light off and cover up human rights violations.

For this reason, Formiche has decided to turn the light on, and host commentaries and interviews from some of the front-runners of Venezuela and Hong Kong fights for freedom. Mariela Magallanes, Venezuelan Mp first persecuted and then forced to exile, gives a powerful testimony on how Maduro’s illiberal regime brought the once one of the wealthiest countries of South America in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.

Joshua Wong, a 23-years-old leader of the Hong Kong protests and Secretary-general of Demosisto, explains why the Hongkongers’ race to freedom won’t stop despite the mass-arrests and the quarantine break. No matter how dangerous the mission, “people always say Hong Kong is a business-champions, we showed the world it is a champion of democracy”, he says.

No one could get the deep sense of the Formiche‘s initiative better than Carmelo Miceli, Italian Mp from the Democratic Party (Pd). “The Italian Liberation Day isn’t just our day – he warns – this year more than ever it recalls a global mission. It reminds us of what unites peoples from different parts of the world in their struggle for freedom of speech, religion, and political opinion”.

Recalling the legendary motto of the Washington Post, Alina Polyakova, president of CEPA (Center for European policy analysis) and one of the US leading scholars in IR, shows how easily democracy and freedom “suffocate in the dark”. “The world-pandemic provides authoritarian States with a unique chance: to tighten their grip on their citizens while the world is looking the other way”, she says. This is a lesson nobody should forget. Formiche certainly won’t.

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