A pivotal moment in Venezuela’s de facto civil war …

2017-05-05_1812 Venezuela protestsCitizens take to the streets as Maduro seeks to shred the constitution, destroy the legislature, and crush the spirit of the citizenry. From NPR – 

While President Nicolas Maduro has set the gears in motion for a new Venezuelan constitution, the confusion and violence that has engulfed city streets for more than a month only appears to be deepening.

The tumult continued apace this week, opening Monday with Maduro’s call for a new law of the land and culminating with a women’s march — a white-clad gathering in the capital Saturday to protest the president’s proposed changes.

The near-constant clashes between protesters and riot police have pushed the death toll even higher over the past month, to at least 36 by Reuters’ count. The latest victim appears to be a student shot dead Thursday in the northern state of Anzoátegui, where his shooter managed to escape on a motorcycle.

In all, the news service reports that more than 1,700 people have been arrested — 597 of whom were still jailed as of Thursday — since activists first took to the streets in early April to protest an attempt to nullify the National Assembly, a legislative body packed with lawmakers who oppose Maduro’s policies. That attempt was quickly walked back — but not before it catalyzed an opposition that had already been simmering over rampant food shortages and indefinitely postponed elections.

Now, Maduro hopes a revised constitution will spell an end to the unrest, which he sees as a plot hatched by enemies both domestic and abroad to undermine his government.

 

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