What’s happening in Venezuela, and why should we care?
This video by “The Economist,” brilliantly lays out how Venezuela, a country on the brink, could finally be seeing their Socialist dictator fall.
A tenth of the population has fled, partly because they’re starving. Medicines are running out
Inflation is an estimated 1.7 million percent.
The election last year, was such a farce, that the opposition boycotted it.
Either the despot Nicolas Maduro falls, or he doesn’t, in which case, expect matters to get a lot worse in Latin America’s worst-governed country.
Last week, Juan Guaido, the leader of the national assembly in Venezuela, declared himself interim president, pending elections.
Immediately, Guaido was recognized by all the important democracies in the America’s apart from Mexico—Canada, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, and Columbia.
The government has always depended on the armed forces and on armed vigilante gangs to put down the opposition with force, and often considerable bloodshed. It’s running out of money to pay the men in uniform. A major in the National Guard only makes the equivalent of $15 per month. They’ve eeked out their salaries by being allowed to steal money or dominate businesses. There’s even a general in charge of toilet paper distribution.
The United States ratcheted up the pressure this week, by saying that any oil that Venezuela sells to the United States, the money will go to the legitimate goverment…ie, the one controlled by Juan Guaido, rather than Maduro’s government.
By putting these sanctions on the Venezuelan oil, the American government is hoping to starve the Maduro regime of the funds it needs to oppress its people.
Juan Guaidó, Venezuela's opposition leader, says he has launched the “final phase” of a plan to oust President Nicolás Maduro. There are reports of rebellions by groups of soldiers ahead of protests tomorrow. In February, our film explained how the world should help Venezuela pic.twitter.com/bBXJdVsaMa
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) April 30, 2019
In a recent video, Juan Guaido can be seen telling reporters that Maduro no longer has the support of his military.
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) April 30, 2019
Today, in anticipation of #OperacionLibertad (Operation Liberty), thousands are marching through the streets en route to Maduro’s presidential palace.
— Giovanni C. (@giovannicavett) April 30, 2019
The protesters are not alone, they’re being accompanied by armed soldiers who have chosen to defect from the Maduro regime.
#Venezuela 🇻🇪: thousands of protesters in #Caracas are now marching west, accompanied by defected soldiers they will try to reach Miraflores (presidential palace). #30Abr #OperacionLibertad pic.twitter.com/WWE787yh1a
— Thomas van Linge (@ThomasVLinge) April 30, 2019
Here, is one of the most powerful scenes from today. Venezuelan soldiers are allegedly hugging their families, as they defect from the Maduro regime.
POWERFUL!!!!!!!#Venezuela 🇻🇪: soldiers at Plaza Altamira in #Caracas hugging their families after defecting from the regime (via @NTN24ve). #30Abr #OperacionLibertad #Venezuela #TensionEnVenezuela pic.twitter.com/5c9xgrGdQ1
— Javier Hernández ♕ (@gbnljavi) April 30, 2019
It is being reported that protesters have breached and taken over La Carlota’s Fransisco de Miranda military airbase in
#Chuao near #Caracas #Venezuela. We are not showing the video of the takeover, as it is accompanied by an extremely graphic video of one of the citizens who was run over when an armored tank plowed into a large group of anti-Maduro protesters. The link to the tweet is here. The video of the armored tank plowing into the citizens can be seen here.
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) April 30, 2019
Although many are struggling to get images and video of the uprising out on Twitter and other forms of social media, a few have made their way out for the world to see what is happening in that failed Socialist nation.
Thousands of Venezuelans hit the streets after interim President Juan Guaidó said 'Operation Liberty' had begun. https://t.co/90bypwQg5T #Venezuela #OperacionLibertad #OperationLiberty @jguaido #NicolasMaduro pic.twitter.com/DwpzjirK9J
— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) April 30, 2019
According to reports on social media, soldiers who have defected from the Maduro regime are wearing blue armbands to show their solidarity with the opposition party.
Two hours ago, White House National Security Advisor, John Bolton clarified that the uprising in Venezuela, is not a “coup,” as stated by many (including CNN) in the media, explaining that Juan Guaido has already been recognized as the interim president of Venezuela.
NEW: "This is clearly not a coup. We recognize Juan Guaido as the legitimate interim-president of Venezuela," White House national security adviser John Bolton says. https://t.co/V9dPDF2Jyo pic.twitter.com/r7cmGgEnl9
— ABC News (@ABC) April 30, 2019