Facing a deepening economic crisis including shortages of food and basic necessities, runaway inflation, a looming risk of default, and calls for his resignation, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro remains defiant. Reuters reports:
Speaking on state TV, the 53-year-old president mocked his foes as divided and corrupt, and insisted he was the man to steer Venezuela out of its current economic crisis.
“We are here to work undisturbed in the great objectives of the economic recovery,” he said at a meeting with businessmen and senior government officials. “And from there, they will not get rid of me, nor should they get rid of anyone.”
The opposition, led by the National Assembly, has orchestrated a campaign to oust or at least weaken Maduro, including a recall referendum and a constitutional amendment to limit the executive power Chavez did so much to expand. Large protests against Maduro have been planned in Caracas and elsewhere across the country tomorrow.
Maduro won’t go down easily, and violence is by no means out of the question. Maduro controls the military, even as the National Assembly represents the will of (most of) the people. A showdown is coming, and whether it’s fought in the halls of government or on the streets of Caracas, it isn’t going to be pretty.