What’s going on in Venezuela? + video – commentary

What’s going on in Venezuela? + video

Recent protests have pitted the government and Venezuelan opposition against each other – and the stakes are high.

By , Staff writer / February 18, 2014 Christian Science Monitor

Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, dressed in white and holding up a flower, is taken into custody by Bolivarian National Guards, in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb 18. Lopez re-emerged from days of hiding to address an anti-government demonstration and then turn himself in to authorities. Speaking to some 5,000 supporters with a megaphone, Lopez said that he doesn’t fear going to jail to defend his constitutional right to peacefully protest against President Nicolas Maduro. Alejandro Cegarra/AP  

Venezuelan opposition and pro-government demonstrators took to the streets again today in the highly polarized South American nation. The turnout was large and protests remained relatively calm, but tensions have been on the rise since the Feb. 12 deaths of three people after demonstrations in Caracas.

Why are Venezuelans taking to the streets?

Venezuela is faced by economic, social, and political challenges: Inflation is at 56 percent, the currency is rapidly devaluing, shortages of staples like toilet paper and sugar are plaguing the nation, and the murder rate is one of the worst in the world. What started out as roughly two weeks of small, student-led protests against the Maduro administration has turned into opposition-organized marches that involve stone-throwing and taunting met by tear gas and water cannons.   [Read more]

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Comments

  • de castro  On 02/19/2014 at 5:20 pm

    Corruption is endemic in Venezuelan society…..politicians ignore at their peril…
    The military intervention maybe lesser of evils outcome.
    Steps backward ! Sad fact.

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