Global Independent Analytics

Venezuelan Anti-Government Protesters Clash With Police

Protesters are clashing with police in riot gear as they try to make their way to the headquarters of Venezuela's electoral body.

Associated Press reports:

The opposition demands the government allow it to pursue a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro. They protest the third time a week n Wednesday.

Thousands of people turned out for the protest, but police blocked the route. A small group tried to break through and was turned back by tear gas.

Over the weekend, Maduro declared a state of emergency in the economically struggling country. He gave himself decree powers for 60 days.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles on Tuesday called on the country to reject those extra powers. He said Maduro would have to use tanks and war planes to impose them.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

EXPERT OPINION

Joshua Tartakovsky

As I argued months ago on GIAnalytics, (“Venezuela’s Needs Demand a Chavista Military Coup,” March 9, 2016), the catastrophic economic situation in Venezuela, the aggressive sabotage efforts by the opposition-dominated National Assembly which mean that Maduro cannot govern, and the actual violence and looting carried out in the streets, deserve an appropriate response. For the Venezuelan economy to be saved, the Venezuelan army must step in and restore order. Even though Maduro has been mismanaging the crisis, and although others could have handled it better, he does not need to be replaced for an order to be restored. All he needs to do is to ask the military to take over in the streets to restore security and engage in emergency measures of providing basic goods. I argued then that the earlier the military takes over, the better, and indeed, the economic situation has plummeted since then. But now, the longer Maduro waits, the more there is a chance the US will intervene militarily. Sending in the military now will send a strong signal that he is determined and cannot be played with while hesitation and second-guessing will increase the US appetite for a regime change. And needless to say, the US will seek to replace him regardless as the Brazilian precedent indicates. One may argue that the military taking over would provoke a US intervention, but such an intervention is may happen anyway as Maduro said. Furthermore, in the case of a foreign intervention Venezuelans will unite behind the army as they are a nation of patriots. But if chaos continues to spread, Venezuelans will be afflicted with problems and will not support their sovereignty as much since their basic needs are not taken care of, and they will be busy struggling for survival.  The military must restore the well-being of Venezuelans first and foremost so that they will be proud of their country and confident in their ability to govern themselves.  

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