The crisis in Venezuela, more violent!
As you may have noticed from watching the TV news, the protests in Venezuela have only intensified over the last few weeks. President Nicolas Maduro has called for an election for constitutional assembly which the opposition has boycotted.
They say that Maduro wants to convert his rule over the country into a full-fledged dictatorship. This point was reiterated by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, who tweeted: “Maduro’s sham election is another step toward dictatorship.”
There have been massive protests across the country. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles says over a hundred people have died in the last month, including 14 this week. Jorge Rodriguez of the ruling socialist party insists that there have been no deaths at all.
The polls opened on Sunday and the turnout was very low. It looked obvious that the people of Venezuela know that the election is a complete sham and any vote made by them won’t have any value whatsoever.
The election is to appoint 545 members of an assembly who will have the right to rewrite the constitution and will have sweeping powers to reform or change all state institutions. The goal is to establish a higher power than the opposition controlled parliament.
Maduro has done everything possible to make sure that more people vote. In Petare, a poor working class area, people say that they have been told by government officials that they stand to lose all government subsidies, jobs and pensions if they fail to register their vote.
Most countries have been very critical of Maduro and have promised to extend their sanctions against Venezuela. President Donald Trump is a big critic of the Venezuelan leader. But Maduro has found support from those of the leftist ideology across the world.
Labor Judge Jonatas Andrade of Brazil was one of those of the leftist ideology who congratulated Maduro. He said, “Democracy is being questioned all over the world precisely because it hasn observed its own basic principle: government of the people, for the people, by the people. In Venezuelas Fifth Republic we have seen a constant practical effort to adhere to this essential democratic principle, and one of these efforts is the sectoral vote for 1/3 of the members of the Constituent Assembly.”
“The sectoral vote means taking into account new social subjects that have acquired greater prominence since the 1999 constitution — Indigenous peoples, campesinos, the disabled — sectors that were invisible before, began to assert themsleves and find protection, and are now threatened with the kind of social rollback we are seeing in so many places, including in Brazil,” Judge Jonatas Andrade added.
Protests against Maduro have spread across the world. Venezuelan immigrants held protests outside the Venezuelan embassies in the UK, Spain, Chile, Sweden and Mexico. In contrast, there were support rallies held in the favor of Maduro by trade unionists in Australia and by other leftists around the world.
Author: Raghav Hegde – India