Sunday, 30 July 2017 was yet another day of violence in Venezuela as protesters took to the streets in opposition to socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s latest attempt to consolidate power. Maduro has pushed forward with an election of a Constituent Assembly, a powerful group of delegates who would rewrite the Constitution, presumably in President Maduro’s favor.
Anti-Maduro protestors erected barricades on roads as government forces and activists battled in the streets. After multiple attacks, including a bomb blast in Caracas which injured seven police officers and unidentified men shooting at protestors in San Cristobal, seven are confirmed dead.
This was one of the deadliest days of protest since forceful opposition to President Maduro and his policies began in early April. Liberty Nation has previously covered the protestsand provided a contextual background to Venezuela’s death-spiral from booming petrostate to economic wasteland.
While Venezuela may seem like one bad day away from a Mad Max style apocalyptic frenzy, citizens are still a good deal away from “riding eternal, shiny and chrome.” The opposition party, which currently controls the National Assembly, is doing everything it can to reach a democratic solution. Nicolas Maduro, however, has consistently blocked all attempts at political change through the democratic process. Regional elections have been postponed and canceled, a referendum to recall President Maduro was (unsurprisingly) shut down, and Congress’ attempts to rein in Maduro’s despotism have been ignored entirely. Maduro, in an attempt to deal a lethal blow to the opposition, has pushed forward with the election of the Constituent Assembly, whose delegates are will likely include his wife and son, despite polls currently showing 70% of Venezuelans in opposition to the election.
Maduro’s attempts to consolidate his power by rewriting the constitution in his favor only proves the point we at Liberty Nation made during our last piece on Venezuela:
Venezuela stands as a prime example of the dangers of socialism. Revolutionary leaders do not care about the people; they care about power.
Despite vast opposition to the vote, Maduro’s government stuffed the ballots in any way they could. State employees, who number upwards of 2.8 million, were pressured to vote or face dismissal. Maduro’s Constituent Assembly will begin their rewrites within 72 hours of the election results being certified. Maduro critics fear that the result of those rewrites will include a dissolution of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, delaying future elections, and changing the electoral process to ensure socialists remain in power.
Regardless of whether Maduro gets his way, Venezuelans will continue to resist the failed policies and despotism of his socialist government. The people of Venezuela face massive shortages of food and medicine, consistent disruptions in electrical power, and the world’s highest inflation rate.
Options are quickly running out for the people of Venezuela. Despite local and global opposition, President Nicolas Maduro continues his quest to secure more and more power, regardless of the plight or will of his people.
Decades of Socialist rule and a despotic government have guaranteed that things in Venezuela will only get worse. You have been warned, America. You have been warned.