Photo: Jose Luis Magana / AP
In Venezuela were the most massive since 2014 demonstrations against the regime. However, mass protests will not force President Maduro to change course and make concessions, experts believe
“The mother of all marches”
In Venezuela, which lasted from 4 April protest marches last week reached a climax. Anti-government demonstrations on Wednesday, April 19, became the most extensive in 2014. On this day in Caracas and other cities held marches, dubbed the “Mother of all marches”. They were attended by several hundred thousand people, according to The Guardian. The protesters demanded fair elections and the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro, whom the opposition accused of usurping power. Police met the crowd of thousands in Caracas with tear gas and rubber bullets, the demonstrators responded with stones and Molotov cocktails.
However, opposition to law enforcement has not affected the plans of the opposition and its supporters. Thursday, April 20, the stock has continued. At the call of one of the main leaders of the opposition Henrique Capriles, Governor of Miranda state, several thousand people again took to the streets in Venezuelan cities.
Massive anti-government protests in Venezuela does not end with 2014. Since 2013, the country is headed by Nicolas Maduro, won the post of President after the death of Hugo Chavez. Another wave of protests was caused by the position of the Supreme court. In the confrontation between the Parliament, the majority of which is the opposition, and the President of the court sided with the President in March, giving him the right to bypass the Parliament. The opposition began mass protests, and the court verdict overturned, following the appeal of the security Council to reconsider the decision. The Council is headed by Maduro himself, however, a concession on his part did not affect the mood of the protesters.
The indignation of the opponents of Maduro and warmed the Supreme court ruling banning opposition leader and two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles to qualify for public office for 15 years. This decision of the Supreme court accepted, recognizing the Governor guilty of involvement in acts of vandalism and violence during anti-government rallies.
April 19, during clashes between supporters of Maduro, the President called out for counter-demonstrations in Caracas, and his opponents killed three people — two students and a member of the National guard, as a result, the number of people killed in the April protests rose to eight. Another 223 people were injured, reported the press Secretary of the opposition Union of the “Roundtable of democratic unity” Martialart Barrios. According to her, two days, 19 and 20 April, police arrested 585 people. The human rights group Penal Forum also reported that more than 500 detainees in connection with protests Wednesday, 334 people remain in custody.
Photo: Marco Bello / Reuters
The President sees conspiracy
Venezuelan authorities regard the renewed wave of protests as an attempt to overthrow the current government with the support of Washington. Maduro on April 19 accused the U.S. of trying to destabilize the country. “Sure, we’re facing the most criminal and violent in recent years, the onslaught against peace, democracy and the Constitution of Venezuela,” said Maduro. According to him, the attack needs the United States “to provoke an imperialist invasion and to plunge the country into a new slavery” (quoted by TASS).
USA, says Maduro, highlighted on the organization of performances of about $100 million of involvement In organizing the protests the President has accused mobile operator Movistar, which is owned by Spanish company Telefonica. According to the Ministry of communication and information of Venezuela during anti-government rallies on Wednesday, April 19, Movistar sent out every two hour notice with a call to join the demonstrators. Maduro said that an investigation will be conducted. Movistar charges are not commented on, reported CNN on April 21.
On April 19, the American automaker General Motors, which owns the plant in Valencia, in the North of the country, said that he was captured by local authorities. After that the acting head a press-services of US state Department mark Toner said that Washington is studying the circumstances of the incident. Venezuelan assets frozen, but the plant should continue to operate, said on 21 April the Minister of economy, Ramon Lobo. According to the U.S. Department of State, the government of Venezuela since 1998, expropriated and nationalized by over 1400 private enterprises. Russian companies in Venezuela is not in danger, claimed during a visit to Moscow in February, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez.
The United States will not openly interfere in current events, although Venezuela may become the main target of trump in Latin America, said the expert on problems of Latin America Yevgeny Bai. “USA do not bet on the intervention of <…>, and on the economic and diplomatic boycott of Caracas”, — the expert specifies. The US is not involved in the organization of the protests, the accusations from Maduro and before sounded in the administration of former President Barack Obama, I’m sure a specialist in the history and politics of Latin America Tatyana vorozheykina. Riots are primarily caused by internal problems in the country, the expert believes.
Venezuela is in a protracted economic crisis that began under the rule of Chavez. Has exacerbated the fall in world oil prices. According to the Venezuelan consulting company Ecoanalitica in 2016 inflation in the country reached 525%. Investment Bank Torino Capital in new York called the figure of 453%. The unemployment rate in 2017, according to IMF estimates, may exceed 25%. Next year this figure may reach 28%. In 2015, unemployment was at 7.4 percent.Particularly burdensome was the strict foreign exchange restrictions and the repeated devaluation of the local currency, the Bolivar, which has limited the import of vital goods while reducing the value of dollars in earnings, writes The New York Times.
Protests in Venezuela. Photos
At least 42 people were injured on 19 April during anti-government demonstrations in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, and more than 400 people were arrested throughout the country. The protesters…
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The opposition is without a leader
Of involvement in the conspiracy, Maduro accused the President of Parliament, opposition leader Julio Borges. Maduro confidence in their abilities, despite years of protests and bad economic situation, a Latin America expert Yevgeny Bai explains that it fully supports the army leadership. “The military are afraid of power change, as hundreds of them are involved in drug trafficking, committed other crimes against their own citizens. In the event of coming to power of the opposition, many of them will inevitably appear before the court”, — the expert explains.
The opposition, according to experts, currently there is no chance to achieve the resignation of Maduro. However, if the General situation in the country deteriorates, Maduro may resign voluntarily by giving power to the 42-year-old first Vice-President Tarek El Aissami, says Bai. “It will only lead to further aggravation of relations with the United States, because there it appears in the list of persons responsible for drug trafficking from Venezuela and Colombia in the United States, compiled by the American Ministry of Finance” — says the expert.
The outcome of the collision of the regime and the opposition is very unpredictable as both sides took a tough stance and not going to concede, vorozheykina says. Maduro barely won the presidential elections of 2013, will not make concessions and will not agree to early elections, as the opposition demands (planned elections to be held in 2018). But even if the scenario will be implemented early elections, the opposition has no strong candidate: the Capriles for 15 years was forbidden to run, and the second most popular opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who led anti-government protests in 2014, is in prison, vorozheykina says.