Venezuela’s opposition holds its biggest protests in years. Will they change anything?

From the Washington PostCARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s opposition is putting up its most determined challenge to President Nicolás Maduro in years, with near-daily protests that are backed by widening international condemnation of the government’s authoritarian rule.

Calling for early elections, the release of political prisoners and a return to democratic norms, thousands of Maduro’s opponents have repeatedly attempted to march toward downtown government buildings in Caracas in the past two weeks, only to be repelled by police truncheons and clouds of tear gas.

The protests in Caracas are the most intense since 2014, when more than 40 people were killed in clashes that erupted during a failed push to drive out Maduro. “This time, the opposition is not trying to seize power,” political analyst Carlos Romero said. “They have a specific agenda, and if they achieve their goals, the protests will be considered a success.”

Chronic shortages of food and medicine have made life miserable in a country with the world’s largest oil reserves, and Venezuela’s homicide rate and its inflation rate are among the highest in the world. Such ignominious distinctions reflect a broader unraveling of a nation that was once one of South America’s wealthiest — and is now one of its most desperate. …



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Latest Tweets by @IASecurity

Videos Featuring Our Experts

Kingpins and corruption: Targeting transnational organized crime in the Americas Roger Noriega on the Crisis in Venezuela: The world's response | IN 60 SECONDS

Venezuelan crisis: A brief history by Roger Noriega | IN 60 SECONDS

WAC Philadelphia: Latin America’s Role in 2017 and Beyond, feat. José R. Cárdenas

Promo for CNN's AC360°: "Passports in the shadows", feat. Roger Noriega

Ambassador Roger Noriega on PBS NewsHour discussing U.S.-Mexico relations under Trump

José Cárdenas Interview with Opinion Journal: "Hungry in Venezuela"

Ambassador Noriega Analyzes President Obama’s visit to Cuba on PBS’ ‘Newshour’


During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.