Venezuela Crisis is Out of Control: Cycle of Violence will lead to more Tears
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The original hope installed under Hugo Chavez who focused on a social platform to address mass inequality is now but a distant dream under President Nicolas Maduro. Chavez, deeply popular among certain sections of society, equally witnessed volatile times. However, “the masses of the abandoned” remained loyal to the principled approach taken by Chavez, even if other sections of society opposed his ideology and political objectives. Therefore, the death of Chavez in 2013 is a pivotal year because his replacement is not only encouraging opposition forces, more drastic from an internal position, Maduro is equally testing the traditional base that supported Chavez through the rough and the smooth of his leadership.
Maduro is quick to utilize conspiracy theories based on political forces in Washington that seek the demise of his leadership. Of course, many political elites in America deplore Maduro and would welcome a new Venezuela that focuses on a different political approach. Yet, despite the possible intrigues of Washington – real or imagined – based on the rhetoric of Maduro; the reality is that the economy is a nightmare and many Venezuelans are dying because of an inadequate health care system.
The New York Times reports, “Venezuela has been rocked for the last month by huge street protests against Mr. Maduro’s government, which have been met with repression by the security forces. At least 29 people have been killed… A dismal economy has led to shortages of food and medicine, and a Supreme Court decision in March to strip power from the National Assembly led to the protests.”
Since the above agency reported the death toll of reaching at least 29, it is now believed to have risen to 32. In other words, the crisis is out of control because militant forces on both sides now view violence to be the answer. Of course, mass frustration is understandable given the reality of modern day Venezuela under Maduro. Yet, despite this reality, violence will only embolden Maduro to call for new powers to quell genuine opposition forces. Similarly, internal security forces will use more brutal methods in order to stem the rising tide of anger.
According to the International Monetary Fund, it is more than possible that inflation will break the 700% barrier later this year. Hence, further pressure on the most vulnerable in society – and this reality should shame socialist forces who are betraying the people based on “empty slogans.” Therefore, even the most basics, for example, baby milk, food, and medicine are all blighted by horrendous shortages.
The BBC reports, “The demonstrators are especially angry over President Nicolas Maduro’s recent decree that creates a 500-member constituent body to rewrite the constitution, a step that would bypass the opposition-controlled National Assembly.”
Venezuela is now in a vicious cycle of horrendous inflation, shortages of the most basic of provisions, political polarization, and now a cycle of death and mayhem. In other words, while the capital is burning, the leader of Venezuela merely seeks to protect his power base and strengthen central forces that will bypass democratic channels. However, with each new death, the specter of more violence threatens to tear the nation further apart.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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