Oppression and tragedy in Venezuela: What could possibly happen next?

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By Samuel Richter

The people of Venezuela continue to protest the oppressive government regimes. Every day, the body count rises, and their corrupt government officials are silencing more and more innocent civilians.

The Venezuelan economy has suffered from a 56 percent inflation increase. The crime rate continues to rise, and the food supply further diminishes every day. The biggest threat to the current government led by President Nicolas Maduro is the increasing population of protestors threatening the socialist government.

Ever since Maduro’s election last year, the Venezuelan people have continued to suffer under the regime.

“Anything can happen now,” said Javier Corrales, a professor of political science at Amherst College. “This is a real crisis on all fronts. The government has ways to survive … but at the same time, it can lose this battle.”

Right now, most political scientists are predicting one of several outcomes to occur over the next few days. The first possible scenario is that the government begins a hard crackdown on all protestors.

Leopoldo Lopez, one of the main politicians associated with the protests and violence against the government, has been arrested and is currently behind bars for crimes against the government. Maduro has also released statements that he will continue the hunt for those leading the demonstrations. He said, “Is capturing these people repression? Or is it justice?”

Maduro said after airing videos during a national broadcast that he said showed opposition attacks on government buildings.

The next possible scenario is that the government will continue to exist in the structure that it currently uses.

The support behind Maduro is still very strong and the rest of the Chavistas have a lot of support as well.

“Maduro has a lot of support,” said George Ciccariello-Maher, an assistant professor of political science at Drexel University.

“He’s not Chavez, but he’s seen as a relatively faithful representative of what Chavez stood for.” Chavez is still known for being the peoples’ leader  from his time in office, and was known for going after the country’s elite in order to gain support for the common men of Venezuela.

The third possible scenario is that this will become a purely economic based issue and won’t be resolved until inflation decreases or a sufficient amount of government purchases have been made to supply the people with basic necessities.

“More than anything else, just the shear economic desperation for many people and the shortages and the rising inflation,” said President of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank Michael Shifter.

The loyalty of the military has also come into question. Back in 2002, a military coup to temporarily remove Chavez from office took place, which makes many believe that the military may turn against the government again.

President Maduro has recently released that he wishes to meet with United States President Barack Obama to discuss the proper course of action.

Only time will tell what will result.

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