Tag Archives: Venezuela

Venezuela: One killed, four wounded in election violence

Source: ABC News

"Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans lined up across the country and in expatriate communities around the world Sunday to vote in a symbolic rejection of President Nicolas Maduro's plan to rewrite the constitution, a proposal that's raising tensions in a nation battered by shortages and anti-government protests. A 61-year-old woman was killed and four people wounded in shooting that erupted after government supporters on motorcycles swarmed an opposition polling site in a church in the traditionally pro-government Catia neighborhood of western Caracas. … The government calls the opposition vote a manipulation aimed at destabilizing the country, and has been urging its supporters to participate in the constitutional assembly, which it calls a way of restoring peace to Venezuela." (07/16/17)


Venezuela: Regime transfers Lopez to house arrest

Source: CBS News

"Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was transferred to house arrest Saturday after spending more than three years behind bars in a military prison. The Supreme Court, in a statement, said it had granted Lopez the 'humanitarian measures' for health reasons and "serious signs of irregularities" in the handling of the case that it did not specify. Outside Lopez's house in the capital, Caracas, a few dozen supporters arrived carrying Venezuelan flags to celebrate along with journalists looking for information about whether the transfer may have been part of a larger deal between the opposition and President Nicolas Maduro's government." (07/08/17)


Venezuela: Helicopter strafes court as pilot/actor calls for rebellion

Source: Los Angeles Times

"A police helicopter fired on Venezuela’s Supreme Court and Interior Ministry in what President Nicolas Maduro said was a thwarted terrorist attack aimed at ousting him from power. The confusing incident, which may ratchet up tensions in a country already paralyzed by months of deadly anti-government protests, took place as Maduro was speaking live on state television Tuesday and as the high court handed down a series of rulings against the opposition. … pictures of a blue police helicopter carrying an anti-government banner appeared on social media around the same time as a video in which an apparent police pilot and budding action movie actor, identified as Oscar Perez, called for a rebellion against Maduro’s 'tyranny.' He said he was part of a coalition of renegade members of the country’s security forces." (06/28/17)


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)