I read today of the renewed efforts of the Venezuelan authorities to clamp down on Sumate and their leaders, in particular Maria Corina Machado. Most recently they prevented her from attending a World Economic Forum event.
One of the privileges of working in the free software community is the interaction between different groups trying to bring together social and economic change. People like Maria are inspiring leaders, because they devote themselves to a cause much greater than any one person’s life, but in the process they sacrifice many of the comforts that many of us take for granted. It would be much easier to watch from the sidelines, emigrate, or simply ignore the situation.
I know that the Ubuntu community is very active in Venezuela and I hope they will not also some day face repression. It seems the country is on a knife-edge, facing tough decisions that will have a major impact on the quality of life of citizens there for decades.