Tag Archives: Venezuela

Venezuela: Court sides with Maduro over constitutional rewrite

Source: The Atlantic

“Venezuela’s Supreme Court voted Monday to reject a motion that would prohibit the nation’s president, Nicolas Maduro, from rewriting its constitution. The decision comes just days after Venezuela’s chief prosecutor, Luisa Ortega Diaz, stood on the steps of the Supreme Court with a copy of the nation’s blue constitution book and defended Venezuela’s current laws. ‘What’s at play here is the country,’ she said, ‘the integrity of Venezuelans.’ A few weeks earlier, on May 24, Maduro signed a document calling for a ‘constituent assembly’ to draft a new version of Venezuela’s constitution in what he considers to be an effort to bring peace to the nation. The assembly would also have the authority to dissolve public powers and convene general elections — stipulations that could give Maduro undue influence. With voting for the new assembly scheduled for July, many have accused Maduro of giving extra weight to populations that might secure his re-election.” (06/13/17)


Nicolas Maduro doesn’t really control Venezuela

Source: The Atlantic
by Moises Naim

“It’s hard to pick the Venezuelan president’s greatest flaw. Which is more serious: his cruel indifference to the suffering of his people, or his brutal autocratic behavior? Which is more outrageous: his immense ignorance or the fact that he dances on television while his henchmen murder defenseless young protesters in the streets? The list of Nicolas Maduro’s failings is long, and Venezuelans know it; over 80 percent of them oppose him. And it’s not just Venezuelans. The rest of the world has also discovered — at last! — his despotic, corrupt, and inept character. And yet … Maduro doesn’t really matter. He is simply a useful idiot, the puppet of those who really control Venezuela: the Cubans, the drug traffickers, and Hugo Chavez’s political heirs.” (05/25/17)


Venezuela: Protesters torch Chavez’s childhood home

Source: Daily Mail

“Protesters have set late president Hugo Chavez’s childhood home in western Venezuela on fire, an opposition legislator said, as protests against the nation’s socialist government grew increasingly hostile. Demonstrators lit the house — in the city of Barinas, where Mr Chavez spent his early years — aflame along with several government buildings, including the regional office of the National Electoral Council, said Pedro Luis Castillo, who represents the area. The burnings capped a violent day in Barinas — known as the cradle of Mr Chavez’s socialist revolution — during which protesters clashed with national guardsmen, businesses were closed and roads blocked with fire-filled barricades.” (05/23/17)


Venezuela: Two killed in latest round of anti-regime protests

Source: Artesia Daily Press

“Chaos erupted in western Venezuela during another round of protests against the socialist government, with buildings set afire, tear gas swirling around protesters and at least two people killed. A grisly video purporting to show the final moments of one man left dead in the turmoil capped Monday’s unrest as a morning of initially peaceful demonstrations turned violent outside Caracas, with two deaths reported at separate demonstrations in Tachira, a mountainous state bordering Colombia. … The violence added to a mounting toll of bloodshed as Venezuela’s opposition vows to step up near-daily demonstrations and Maduro shows no intention of conceding to opposition demands. More than three dozen people have been killed, including a national guardsman and a police officer, hundreds injured and as many as 2,000 detained in nearly seven weeks of protests.” (05/16/17)


Venezuela: Opposition boycotts meeting on Maduro assembly as street clashes rage

Source: Reuters

“Venezuela’s opposition boycotted a meeting on Monday to discuss President Nicolas Maduro’s plan for a new popular assembly, preferring to protest in the streets where they were again blocked by security forces firing tear gas. In familiar scenes from five weeks of unrest, youths with gas masks and makeshift shields faced off with police and National Guard troops in Caracas, after hundreds of demonstrators were stopped from reaching government offices. In Venezuela’s second city Maracaibo, a crowd of about 300 protesters shouting ‘Maduro Out!’ and ‘No to Dictatorship!’ was dispersed with multiple volleys of tear gas. Decrying Maduro as an autocrat who has wrecked the OPEC nation’s economy, Venezuela’s opposition is demanding elections to resolve Venezuela’s grave political crisis.” (05/08/17)


Venezuela: Maduro invokes constituent assembly measure

Source: Yahoo! News

“Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro announced on Monday the creation of a new popular assembly with the ability to re-write the constitution, which foes decried as a power-grab to stifle weeks of anti-government unrest. ‘I don’t want a civil war,’ Maduro told a May Day rally of supporters in downtown Caracas while elsewhere across the city security forces fired tear gas at youths hurling stones and petrol bombs after opposition marches were blocked. Maduro, 54, has triggered an article of the constitution that creates a super-body known as a ‘constituent assembly.’ It can dissolve public powers and call general elections, echoing a previous assembly created by his predecessor Hugo Chavez in 1999 soon after he won office in the South American OPEC nation.” (05/02/17)


Fate of Venezuela hinges on unity of opposition

Source: Independent Institute
by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

“If the monolithic unity that Maduro’s regime has by and large maintained until now continues, we will see even more horrific violence. The man is hell-bent on remaining in power. However, it is by no means guaranteed that he will maintain that unity. There have been sporadic symptoms of dissent among Chavistas. One of them came from the attorney general, Luis Ortega, who chastised the Supreme Court for staging a coup against the National Assembly. One major factor in all of this will be the unity of the opposition itself.” (04/27/17)


Venezuela ablaze

Source: CounterPunch
by Robert Hunziker

“Questions come to mind when news about Venezuela depicts a nation under siege. For certain, the mainstream press in America is not on the President Nicolas Maduro bandwagon. From coast-to-coast, American media claims Maduro is a horrible despicable dictatorial creepy monster that flogs his own people and stifles democracy, same as all tyrants throughout history. But, is that really the truth?” (04/27/17)


Venezuela: Death toll rises as unrest enters fourth week

Source: Reuters

“At least one person was killed in political unrest in Venezuela on Monday as anti-government protests entered a fourth week with mass ‘sit-ins’ to press demands for early elections. A local government worker was shot dead in the Andean state of Merida at a counter-protest rally in favor of the socialist government, while another man there was wounded by a bullet and left fighting “between life and death”, state ombudsman Tarek Saab said. The confirmed death would bring to 11 the number killed in a month of unrest that has seen politically-motivated shootings and daily clashes between security forces armed with rubber bullets and tear gas and protesters wielding rocks and Molotov cocktails. At least 10 people have also died during night-time looting.” (04/24/17)


Venezuela: Regime claims mobile phone service Movistar sent mass messages calling for protests

Source: US News & World Report

“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday he had ordered an investigation of mobile phone operator Movistar, a unit of Spain’s Telefonica SA, for allegedly sending mass messages calling for protests against his leftist government. The country is undergoing a wave of anti-government unrest, with the opposition holding what it called the ‘mother of all marches’ on Wednesday. The government said those taking to the streets were ‘terrorists’ who were plotting to oust the president in a coup. Maduro said in a televised address on Thursday evening that Movistar received money from the opposition to send out information about the march.” (04/20/17)