The people of Venezuela are facing the collapse of their democracy under President Nicolas Maduro, but you won’t hear about this from mainstream media or government sources.
President Maduro, 54, went from driving a bus to driving Venezuela into a desperate situation after taking over in 2013, following the death of his mentor, Hugo Chavez.
It’s been a slow process, but Venezuela’s economic and democratic crisis has caused approximately 75 percent of the Venezuelan population to lose “an average of 19 pounds in body weight last year because there is so little to eat.”
Thanks to vast natural resources such as oil, Venezuela used to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but Chavez envisioned a socialist paradise. That vision turned out to be a socialist nightmare rife with corruption, a tanking economy, extreme shortages of mostly everything, and a collapsed medical system.
Teetering on the edge of an outright dictatorship, Maduro’s term doesn’t end until 2018, despite efforts by the opposition to oust him. The president took one more step toward tyranny on Wednesday night when it was declared that the country’s legislature would now rule without opposition.
“President Maduro is making the population of his country hostages to his own power ambitions,” said a German government spokesman.
“If the division of powers is broken, then democracy is broken,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy observed.
However, on Saturday, Maduro’s court announced that it had abruptly rescinded the previous order.
The Organization of American States, OAS, had been considering suspension of Venezuela’s membership, calling the court’s original ruling a “self-inflicted coup d’état perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime against the National Assembly, the last branch of government to be legitimised by the will of the people of Venezuela.”
With this about-face by Venezuela’s president, however, that won’t happen. Citizens of Venezuela are said to be frightened and cynical after nationwide street protests in 2014 left 43 people dead and accomplished nothing more than silencing the opposition.
“Other opposition figures have been carted off to prison, sometimes in the dead of night. Newspapers critical of the regime have been shut down. Foreign news outlets such as the National Public Radio of the US (NPR) have been denied access to report from the country.”
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 30, 2017
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