Venezuela’s blood is on Maduro’s hands

Hugo Chávez, the 62nd President of Venezuela, died on March 5th, 2013. His death triggered a presidential election which was constitutionally required to be called within 30 days.
Nicolás Maduro served as interim president following Chávez’s death because the Vice President did not want to take charge of the country as Chávez had nominated Nicolas Maduro as a successor.
Little did Chávez, or the rest of Venezuela, know what Maduro’s reign would bring to what used to be one of the most prosperous nations in South America.
The news and images coming from Venezuela in the past year have been heartbreaking and terrifying. Shortages of everything from medicine to food to toiletries have the people rummaging through garbage for food, protesting and ending up dead, and being in a violent clash that has a seemingly hopeless future.
The inflation is now so bad that $1,000 of local currency purchased when Maduro came to power would now be worth just $1.34.
For months, opponents have taken to the streets to voice their frustration with Maduro’s government. More than 100 people have died in connection with bloody protests.
Chaos has consumed this country that possesses the largest proven oil reserves in the world.
How did they get into this mess?
Crashing oil prices left the government with less foreign currency to buy goods from other countries. Venezuela’s imports are down 50% from a year ago, according to Ecoanalitica. Now there are critical shortages of essential imports, including vital medicines.
The rampant inflation that is plaguing the country has meant more people are skipping meals, nicknamed the ‘Maduro Diet’ (the President who has said that doing without “makes you tough”), and the percentage of malnourished Venezuelans is growing rapidly.
Anti-government protesters want Maduro to step down, accusing him of eroding democracy. Maduro, meanwhile, has sent the Venezuelan military onto the streets to maintain order, as well as getting the Supreme Court to back him (in a political hail Mary.)
In the 2015 parliamentary elections, the Opposition (to Maduro) won control of Venezuela’s parliament, the National Assembly.
But in late March this year, the Supreme Court ordered that the National Assembly be dissolved (mostly due to the fact that the Supreme Court is Maduro’s legislative firepower.)
The court had already shot down most congressional measures since the opposition won control, hindering any progress or programs that may be able to save the people of Venezuela.
Their Supreme Court however claimed it was taking over the assembly’s role because it was in “contempt” of the law.
But the current Supreme Court justices were named illegally by the ruling Socialist Party and rushed in before the Opposition took over the National Assembly.
The court’s order is anti-democratic and although it was quickly annulled, near-daily demonstrations snowball into a general protest calling for a new presidential election.
Maduro has since created a new all-powerful legislative body, of which only 23% of their constituents approve of. The 545-member assembly has unanimously elected well-known allies of Mr. Maduro to its leadership. They could potentially vote to dissolve the opposition-run National Assembly.
Any attempt made by the National Assembly to take care of the men women and children of Venezuela is shot down almost instantaneously by Maduro and his legislative bodies, as long as they exist, the people of Venezuela and the democracy of Venezuela is dead.
So Mr. Maduro, if you want to go down as the worst president in the history of Venezuela who continued a needless hunger streak, as well as murdered over 100 of your citizens, keep doing what you’re doing.
If you want to see the beautiful country of Venezuela returned to its’ former glory, step down from your seat and let the people of Venezuela, the Opposition, take up the legislative bodies and clean up the disastrous mess you’ve made.

Demonstrators opposed to the Venezuelan government sing outsdie the Organization of American States (OAS) during the extraordinary session of the Permanent Council, in Washington, on Monday, April 3, 2017.

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