Ever since Maduro’s first year in office, Venezuela has experienced urban violence and shortages of basic goods. The annual inflation rate exceeds 56%, one of the highest in the world. Since February 4th, after the sexual assault of a student, protests started on a university campus near the Colombian border. The National Guard responded with disproportionate force, and demonstrations multiplied throughout the country.
The violent demonstrations that have shaken Venezuela for weeks are threatening to wipe out what little democracy is left there after 15 years of systematic erosion by the Chavez government and his successors. The government of Nicolás Maduro has responded with massive military force, raiding offices and houses without judicial orders, imprisoning civilians in military compounds and avoiding addressing the killing of protesters by paramilitary groups. International media attention and criticism have been dismissed as external intervention and a media complot against Venezuela.
This event aims to analyze the current developments. Can we already speak about a revolution or Venezuelan spring?
Foto credit: flickr.com/globovision