The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Venezuela Burning Anti-Chavista Protests Face Long Odds

The economy is crumbling, political dissent is being ruthlessly punished by the regime, yet the student and opposition protestors barricading the streets are still fighting an uphill battle.

Published on February 27, 2014
Recent video footage on Twitter from San Cristóbal, a provincial city nestled in the Andes of western Venezuela near the border with Colombia, shows students dressed in white approaching a barricade of security personnel. Young and unarmed, they walk with their hands raised and palms facing outwards, as if they could somehow literally push their country in a new direction. They may just be grasping at thin air. The past two weeks of massive protests have caused the government to clamp down hard. For starters, President Nicolás Maduro has taken extraordinary measures to block media coverage of the protests. The government...