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Venezuela's protests explained

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Venezuela's protests explained

Post by Mulchefye on Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:22 pm

With most of the media focusing on Ukraine, its easy to overlook the protests in Venezuela, and its just as easy to assume that both countries face the same issues. In both cases the demonstrators demanded the resignation of the president, but thats were the similarities end. To understand the ongoing protest movement in Venezuela we need to go back to april 2013 when Nicolas Maduro won the presidential election by a one percent difference. The opponent Henrique Capriles refused to accept the results of the election, claiming that there were election irregularities, like ballot stuffing and coerced voting. But the National Elections Council dismissed the calls for a complete review of the allegations. And so the opposition and the government were set on a collision course. The people were gearing up for mass demonstrations, and everyone knew there was a good chance for violance. But what happened next was that Capriles called the whole thing off, because he didnt want any violance. His supporters were obviously dissapointed, but Capriles was determined to challenge the results of the elections through the judical system. Not only was Capriles's case rejected but the court even fined him for offending the state. This became Capriles's second major failure, and it proved a to be a disasterous one. It damaged his own reputation and also created a rift between the moderate and radical wing elements of the opposition. With Harvard educated Leopoldo López being one of the leaders of the radical wing.

Now Lopez is credited for being the leader of the ongoing protest movement. But this is simply inaccurate, it were in fact university students who started the demonstration in response to a campus sexual assault. This set off a chain reaction and as time went by the demonstrations expanded to include mostly people from the middle class and upper class who were angry over the crime rates, police brutality, corruption, inflation, scarcity of goods, the media blackout, and the list of grievances goes on. The point here is that the protests are extremely polorized and there simply is no unifying theme.



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