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Venezuela Burning
Venezuela Gets Violent

Police cracked down on protestors in the streets of Caracas and in towns across Venezuela on Wednesday, firing tear gas canisters into crowds of occasionally violent demonstrators. The protests aimed to build support for a recall vote that could oust President Nicholas Maduro, amidst the collapse of Venezuela’s economy. Reuters has more:

Protesters and National Guards squared off on a Caracas highway, where demonstrators chanted “freedom” and waved copies of the constitution.

Some covered their faces and tossed stones.

“They don’t let us march. They don’t let us eat. They don’t let us live peacefully. What else can we do? We have to fight however we can against this tyranny,” said Juan, declining to give his surname as he donned a bandana.

It was the second day in a row of large-scale protests. According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, government forces killed four people and arrested 1,200 in a raid involving tanks and helicopters on Tuesday. The operations were ostensibly meant to target organized crime, which Maduro and his allies claim gives financial and logistical support to the opposition. The raid was the first time ever that tanks were deployed in the so-called “peace zone” in western Caracas.

Last week, the opposition delivered 1.85 million signatures calling for a recall vote. If the signatures are verified (and it’s unclear if Maduro’s people or the opposition or some third party does the verifying), then another four million names will have to be collected to trigger a recall vote.

Meanwhile, Venezuela announced an extension of its extraordinary two-day work week over the weekend amidst water shortages and power outages across the country.

With Maduro in charge of the army and the opposition in control of the legislature and backed by popular opinion, the situation could get much worse. Given that Maduro seems unwilling to compromise and unable to right Venezuela’s sinking ship, this latest violence could well just be the beginning of something very ugly indeed.

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  • ljgude

    Unlike the ever resourceful Zimbabweans black and white and in between, these volatile Latins are already making life hard for themselves by protesting. Where do they think they are? UC Berkeley? Chill dudes, and notice how Zimbabweans have improvised their way without a currency since 2009 and managed to tolerate Robert Mugabe through the whole thing.

  • Benjamin

    Just think, if we elect either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders , we too will enjoy the fruits of Socialism. The first step would be to eliminate both the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution by Presidential Executive Orders.

    • Suzyqpie

      Bernie and Hillary supporters think This Time It Will Be Different. This Time It Will Work. No Really It Will, because Hillary and Bernie are perceived to be Spechul Snowflakes……

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