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Student talks about her homeland and how similar South Korea is to the States BY JAMIE LEE Special to the A-Blast Today, I am going to talk about what is different between America and Korea. Differences make countries unique. Korea is unique and so is America. There are many different things like uniform, holiday and music. That is different between both countries. Korea and America are really different. In Korea, we do not have school buses. In America, they have school buses for students. In my country, we have to wear uniforms. Most uniform comprise of a blouse, a skirt and a jacket for girls. There are no skirts for boys. Boys wear pants. In America, they do not wear uniforms, except in some private schools. Thanksgiving Day is a national cultural holiday in America. America and Korea both have Thanksgiving Day. America Thanksgiving day this year is on Thursday, November 28, whereas Korean Thanksgiving day was on September 19. In Korea, we do same things they do in America during Thanksgiving Day. We eat different kinds of foods. I like Thanksgiving Day in both countries. Korea music is famous and popular in other countries. Some Vietnamese girls like Korean singers. In America, they have good songs too. Korea and America have similar kinds of music. I like the music in both countries. My country and the U.S.A are really different. When I came here, there were so many differences and there were many new things to learn. It changed my life. I like to live in both countries.

Fun facts on North and South Korea — North Korea has no diplomatic representation in the United States. They also do have a permanent mission to the United Nations. — The Swedish Embassy represents the U.S. as consular protecting power. — Only military and government officials can own motor vehicles. — South Korea is one the most eccentric countries in the world whereas North Korea is one of the most isolated. — South Korea spends approximately $900 million on male based make up. — South Korea has an estimate of 50.95 million people. Their population over triples North Korea’s population

Just World Festival On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to visit the website to sign up. Read more about the Just World festival

BY NUHAMI MANDEFRO International Editor Junior Daniela Rambal is from Venezuela and left most of her family in 1999 after former president, Hugo Chavez, came into office. Her parents knew that emmigrating to the United States was the best decision as they saw the country began to deteriorate. “My dad’s brothers own a Sony store in Caracas (the capital) and all these protests and riots have impacted them heavily because they’ve had to close down the store for several days at a time simply because of the insecurity going on,” Rambal said. “My cousins have not been able to go to school for this entire period as well.” Daniela’s family did not support Hugo Chavez, however, they all agree that ‘Chavismo’ without Chavez has proven to be significantly worse. Despite all the wrongs he did while in office, there was much more order in the country than there is now. Hundreds of angry citizens marched to the capital, Caracas, protesting for the death of their family and neighbors. In early Jan., former Miss Venezuela, Monica Spear, 29, and her ex husband were shot cold blooded in front of their five year old daughter. With her leg being the only thing physically injured, Spear’s young daughter’s soul will forever be scarred - like the other hundreds of thousands of citizens in Venezuela. With thousands of random acts of violence, approximately 28,000 murders have occurred within 2013. Though violence was occurring since the ruling of Hugo Chavez, murder rates have increased to 55.2% since Chavez succumbed to cancer. A number of students have strong opinions and personal connections with the protests and the corrupted government. “I find it unbelievable that this all got out of hand simply because of a peaceful protest that took place on Venezuela’s Youth Day,“ Rambal said. “It’s heartbreaking to see so much violence

Junior Daniela Rambal with her parents at a recent family reunion.

Photo Courtesy of Daniela Rambal

Moving from Korea to America

Students discuss former life and family struggles under corrupted Venezuela

Junior Daniela Rambal was born and raised in Venezuela. This picture was taken in December 1998 when she was a year and half. She moved to the States in 1999 and greatly appreciates her parents’ decision and life in America.

and people being thrown into jail just for fighting for basic rights and security that they’ve been deprived of for so long; as painful as it is to see all this going on, the fact that they’re fighting for a government system free of corruption makes it worthwhile.” The Rambal family is fully invested in the protest but isn’t in the action like Ronald. Senior Ronald Romero has over 80 percent of his family living in Venezuela and they are protesting. “It is mostly my student cousins who have taken to the streets to exercise their right to free speech and the right to protest peacefully,” Romero said. “One of my cousins was close friends with one of the victims of excessive police force during a peaceful protest.” For over 14 years, Venezuela has been under the control of Hugo Chavez and ‘Chavismo’, which is a policy the left wing adapted under Chavez’s rule. After Chavez passed away, in 2013, President Nicolas Maduro established the “Patria Segura” which is the security plan that authorizes military against force crime. Instead of cracking down on hate crimes, the system only seems to train fight wars and control public freedom. With the government in turmoil, inflation has swept through the nation due to the policies in place by the government which has stopped national production of goods and stalled economic growth by importing goods from other countries and creating a similar rationing system as the one in place in Cuba. “My thoughts on Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro are that they have failed and are currently failing to unite the people of a beautiful country and have destroyed the once promising future that the Venezuelan nation had,” Romero said. “Maduro’s ‘security plan’ consists of

the hiring of murderers and criminals to patrol Venezuelan streets and ‘maintain the peace’ when all they have done is abuse their power and damage the lives of Venezuelan citizens.” “In office, Hugo Chavez never considered the people’s desire for change and opportunity,” Rambal said. “He took control of all branches of the government (supreme court, the national assembly, etc) which has resulted in no real separation of power.” “Nicolas Maduro has proved to be a failure as president due to his lack of the education and credentials needed to be a leader,” Rambal said. “He is also highly influenced by the Cuban government which is practically being carried out in Venezuela right now. Under Maduro’s administration, Venezuelan’s have just confirmed that ‘Chavismo’ without Chavez really is worse.” Both families have been close and present to outbreaks in the country. Fortunately, no one was harmed, but danger still lurks around. “Luckily, my family is one of the more better off families in Venezuela in terms of location, but they have seen firsthand the neglecting that the government has done to it’s people,” Romero said. “Basic necessities have become scarce and crime and homicide rates are at all time highs. My family has never been supporters of Chavez and/ or Maduro and has bored against their party in every election.” “I believe that the outbreaks of violence are a result of suppression of the people in Venezuela and the neglecting of the basic human rights by the supposedly socialist government of Venezuela,” Romero said. “Human rights such as freedom of the press and speech are constantly being violated and it is our job to help and correct it.”

Thailand under family turmoil Student talks about family status under Thailand’s control BY NUHAMI MANDEFRO International Editor Senior Kessarin Horvath was born in Thailand in a town north of the capital. Her family took her away to the United States at a time when the Shinawatra family was under the radar. She greatly appreciates her move due to the corruption the family has committed. “I have family in Thailand, but they aren’t participating in the protests as they predominantly live in the north, and the protests are occurring mostly in Bangkok,” Horvath said. Though her mother’s side is from Thailand and her father’s is white American, it is her father who is affected by the fiasco. “My dad does have some friends who are participating in it,” Horvath said. “A few have been placed in dangerous situations with the police and convicted protesters.” On Nov. 24, approximately 20 anti-government protesters were murdered on the Bangkok street in Thailand. One cannot walk out of their home without protesters stirring up controversy in every corner. The opposition of the Democratic Party has completely reigned over the country. Thaksin Shinawatra was convicted of numerous counts of corruption and was kicked out of office by the military coup in 2006. With chances of reentering power, popular vote from rural voters makes the possibility strong for the country. Civilians from urban and middle-class voters are enraged with the passing of the amnesty bill in late 2013. The bill was proposed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party in hopes of retrieving her brother. Citizens greatly fear that the bill will allow former leader Thaksin Shinawatra to come back to office without serving any jail time. Protesters believe the government is buying votes which ultimately creates a corrupt Thai economy and government. Weeks of protests were peacefully and acceptable until pro-government “red-shirt” rally started up on Nov. 30. Protesters marched on

Photo Courtesy of Kessarin Horvath

Jamie Lee easily adapted to the states and loves AHS.

March 11, 2014

Violence in Venezuela

Photo Courtesy of Daniela Rambal

Nuhami Mandefro



Senior Kessarin Horvath has visited her family in Thailand as a toddler. The experience has stayed with her until this day.

Government House, the prime minister’s office after opposition MPs resigned on Dec. 8. Retaliating against the public, Yingluck Shinawatra boycotted the polled and recreated the schedule in early February. Since then, the police for the most part have confronted the protesters, in a non violent manner. But that quickly changed later that month when deaths resulted after clearing protesting sites. The most recent deaths were caused by a bomb blast at an anti-government protest on Feb. 23, killing a woman and two children. A child was killed the day before. Those responsible for the attacks have yet to be identified which outsiders determine will forever be inconclusive with both the pro and the anti-government groups accusing each other. “I think the government system needs to be corrected and aided by other countries,” Horvath said “Despite that my family lives North of Thailand and they’re not immernsing impacted by the violence, they still don’t support her, as they agree with the protestors that the government has become corrupt,” Horvath said. With numerous deaths and protests

continuing, various legal moves have been made to accommodate future situations. On Jan. 8, the anti-corruption protesters attempted to elect the Senate by charging over 300 politicians. Thailand’s constitutional court, meanwhile, has rejected their request by the opposition Democratic Party annual election. Results have yet to be announced. Thai government officials have been discussing how to complete the polls. The Election Commission announced that by late April, the earliest time for the by-elections must be held much sooner to meet the constitutional requirement for parliament to by within the month of voting day. “The lack of rights the government permits is something that my family has really struggled with these years,” Horvath said. Charges were fired on Feb. 18 against Ms. Yingluck in connection with corruption with polls and her brother. The country still awaits for justice towards the passing of the protesters. “My family thinks she should be ousted and have free elections to determine a new, fair prime minister, in order to create a non-corrupt government,” Horvath said.

Issue 8  

the a-blast re-pdf

Issue 8  

the a-blast re-pdf