” ‘Hora Cero’: The Venezuelan crisis through one young mother’s eyes” -ABC News

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” Witnesses to the clashes and, also international human rights groups, and regional organizations monitoring the situation have said that Venezuelan security forces have been firing tear gas canisters and buckshot at short range and using marbles, nuts and bolts as ammunition against anti-government demonstrators. Four months into the protests, and with a new, powerful Constituent Assembly working to rewrite the constitution, it seems that possible solutions to the Venezuelan serious crisis situation are growing scarcer. Alfredo Romero is the director of Foro Penal Venezolano, a Venezuelan legal aid group that documents human rights abuses, and represents people who’ve been kept after at demonstrations.

The South American country has been mired in an economic, political, and humanitarian serious crisis situation that has spilled into the streets, with virtually daily protests affecting the lives of 30 million people who, either participate in them, or are forced to navigate through roadblocks and debris. Maduro, and his government blame the country’s woes on an economic war being waged by the political opposition, the private sector and foreign powers. Cynthia Arnson, the director of the Latin America program at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., said the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision was a turning point in what she called Maduro’s move toward a dictatorial regime. Since then, the streets of the capital, Caracas, have become the backdrop, for a deadly battle of wills between the government of President Nicolas Maduro, and a coalition of opposition groups intent on ousting him.

A meltdown of government institutions has consolidated power around Maduro’s party, and served to criminalize dissent, the Organization of American States, an international body made up of 35 countries from the Americas, said in its July report on the country’s crisis. Government security forces, and pro-government armed groups, called colectivos, are in back of at least 73 of those deaths, according to the report, which adds, “It is unclear who the perpetrators in the remaining deaths might be.” Earlier this month, a National Constituent Assembly was elected to rewrite the country’s constitution. “Now that they see that they are going to lose elections, they’re putting away any means to do them.” “They’re not very persuasive to the general population as a viable alternative choice to the government accordingly even if a lot of people are disenchanted with the government, they do not have much confidence in the opposition at all.” For the first of all time since Maduro’s election in 2013, the majority of countries in the Organization of American States have issued strong condemnations of his government. In theory, her family ought to get food from the local provision, and production committees (abbreviated CLAP in Spanish) but Vivas told ABC News that organizers informed her she’d been taken off of the census, for CLAP-supplied food bags because she supports the opposition.

findings last month, reports from Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International have told of these repression techniques, which the groups say are aimed at injuring protesters. It’s those kinds of cracks in the Chavista movement that shall be able to come up with to more dramatic change.” For Claudia Vivas, a 29-year-old mother living in Caracas, the violence of the protests, and the government’s response to them have added to an already hard life. “There are several examples historically in Latin America just where the closing off any peaceful means, for political means radicalizes the opposition and leads some people to embrace violence and that’s happening as well in Venezuela,” Arnson said. Although OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro has called Maduro’s efforts to sew up power “treason” against the Venezuelan people, the organization has failed to pass any resolutions against the Venezuelan government.

Opposition leaders, and other critics of the Venezuelan government, including Arnson, maintain that dialog just buys Maduro time. He told ABC News the detentions have added to the calamity in a country that already had more than 670 political prisoners, numerous of them students, and other young people, according to the group. Efforts to hold a remember referendum that year were squashed and that, in conjunction with a restricted legislature and worsening economic and humanitarian crises, resulted in this year’s waves of protests, which numerous among the opposition have called Venezuela’s “hora cero” (zero hour) — the breaking point, when the Maduro government will have to go. “There’s a small size group of people who say, ‘We cannot just go on to go into the streets, and have people killed at point blank … We need to get together with each other together fire with fire.'” Vivas, who said she went to the demonstrations every day, for virtually a month, is fearful.

Splintered opposition leadership has given rise up to small size pockets of radicalism, as people grow frustrated with the government’s repression of the protests, and the lack of change….Read The Full Article Here

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