By: Savannah Smith | 05-08-2017 | News
Photo credit: Diplodemocracia | OnVenezuela

Month-Long Protest: What's Shaking Loose In Venezuela?

Violent protests have been happening in Venezuela non-stop for five weeks that have left dozens of citizens dead. So gruesome the situation that President Donald Trump has called for a peaceful solution to anti-government protests in Venezuela.

U.S. national security adviser even met with Julio Borges, the president of Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly, for discussions on how to resolve the issue. The two talked about "the need for the government to follow the Venezuelan Constitution, release political prisoners, respect the National Assembly, and hold free and democratic elections.

38 have died since March due to violent clashes between Venezuelan police and citizens. A statue of Hugo Chavez, the late revolutionary Venezuelan leader, was pulled down in Caracas by a group of students who were venting their anger for the woes of the country like food shortages, inflation and rampant crime. Some of the acts that have been happening in Venezuela have also been described by Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee as

"deplorable" and that the government must monitor closely.

Meanwhile, jailed opposition Venezuelan politician Leopoldo Lopez continues to urge street demonstrators to maintain massive anti-government protests as announced to the media by his wife. Lopez's wife, Lilian Tintori, finally had the chance to visit her husband who was widely rumored to be ill. A journalist on Wednesday tweeted that the opposition politician was taken to the hospital without vital signs. President Nicolad Maduro's leftist government was forced to release a video of Lopez declaring he is fine. Tintori dismissed the footage as "false" and demanded to personally see her husband.

The government has been accusing the Lopez family of whipping up a media frenzy to gain attention. Tintori shared that her husband told her he's alive and strong. Tintori is leading an international campaign for Lopez to regain his freedom, whom supporters believe was sentenced by a "kangaroo court' because he was regarded as a political threat to the unpopular Maduro.

After weeks of sustained near-daily protests, the opponents of Maduro took to the streets again on Sunday to protest what they say is the leader's authoritarian administration and destruction of Venezuela's oil-rich economy. Protesters are demanding for early elections to be held so they can remove Marudo and end the devastating economic crisis that gripped the nation which caused horrific widespread food and medicine shortages, huge lines at shops, soaring prices and increasing, terrible hunger in the nation of 30 million people.

The opposition has a week-long planned protest starting on Monday to continue mounting pressure against Marudo. More than 1,800 people have been arrested, about a third of them still jailed. Hundreds have been injured in mostly confusing battles between security forces using tear gas and hooded young men throwing rocks and erecting barricades. Looting at night is also increasing.

Maduro has declared on state television on Sunday that they are facing an armed insurgency, while critics condemned such statement as a further slide into what they claim is a dictatorship.


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