- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

She won Miss Venezuela in 2008 and Miss Universe 2009, and now she’s winning the hearts and minds of Venezuelan protesters standing in opposition to socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Stefania Fernandez Krupij’s beautiful visage has been turned into a bloody, hog-tied and disheveled version of her former self for a social media campaign aimed at spotlighting the Maduro regime’s violent crackdown on opposition protesters.

Clashes between the socialist president’s forces and opposition protesters in Venezuela have been going on for weeks in reaction to high inflation, shortages of basic goods and an anemic economy.

Since opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was taken into custody Feb. 18 on terrorism charges, clashes with the socialist regime have resulted in numerous deaths, one opposition mayor arrested and another jailed for the next 10 months.

On Tuesday, three members of the Venezuelan Air Force were arrested for conspiring against the government, Business Insider reported.

Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez condemned the “shameful silence” of leaders from across Latin America toward human rights abuses being carried by “paramilitary groups” loyal to Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro.

“The [Organization of American States], which represents nations in the Western Hemisphere, has abstained from any real leadership on the current crisis of human rights and the looming specter of a failed state, even though it was formed precisely to address issues like these,” Mr. Lopez wrote in an op-ed published in Tuesday’s New York Times.

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