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Political crisis in Venezuela hits the streets


President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro who took office after the death of Hugo Chávez in 2013 (Author: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil)

President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro who took office after the death of Hugo Chávez in 2013 (Author: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil)

Venezuelan students and the country’s opposition leaders took to the streets on Feb. 12 to demand changes from the country’s leadership.

The protests heavily ignored by the local media, as most TV and radio channels are either owned by the government or subject to self-censorship, broke out several weeks ago. Several causes include: the rampant crime level, soaring inflation, and record-setting shortages of basic staples. Venezuelans are fed up with the lack of security, the poor economy, as well as with the highly polarized political class., according to Reuters. The government and opposition in Venezuela are accusing each other of responsibility for the bloodshed.ip. The nationwide protests ended with three demonstrators being killed. A Venezuelan court ordered the arrest on Thursday of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez on charges including murder and terrorism linked to the street protests

Even if the protests have been constrained until Wednesday, on Feb. 12, the day when Venezuelans commemorate a battle in the War of Independence led by young people, the protests grew in size. Some 10,000 demonstrators hit the streets of most cities in Venezuela, including the capital Caracas. About 66 people were injured, 70 arrested, some police vehicles torched and government offices vandalized on Wednesday, officials said, according to Reuters.

For more than 15 years, Venezuela has seen many protests, especially during the leadership of the late Hugo Chávez. The demonstrations on Wednesday were the latest in a series of anti-government protests which have demanded the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro. However, as many before, current street manifestations against the Maduro government show no clear vision, as well as a lack of focus that might lead to a failure in achieving its goals.

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