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Tension Increasing in Venezuela

March 2, 2014
Plain English Version

Opposition demonstrators block the city's main highway during a protest against Nicolas Maduro's government in CaracasThe attention of the world is focused on the Ukraine. It should also be watching what is happening in Venezuela.

In Egypt and Syria, the differences among opponents and supporters of the government are religious. In Venezuela the difference is class.

Venezuela is an oil-rich country containing both the affluent and the low-income. It is a country with many services and many shortages. The middle-class always opposed President Hugo Chávez. His biggest supporters were the poor. They received many services from Chávez. The first anniversary of his death is March 5th

Nicolás Maduro was elected President. Now, the middle-class is seeking the ouster of Mr. Maduro. They say he has failed the nation. Inflation is high, violent crime is rampant. Corruption is widespread. There are shortages of food and other goods.

There is little support among the poor for President Maduro. They are suffering the same shortages as others. However, so far, they have not really joined in the demonstrations. Experts say the poor do not trust the middle-class.

The protests are sweeping the country. Violent clashes are taking place. It is a country in crisis. Protestors are trying to join with the poor to increase the pressure on President Maduro.

Henrique Capriles lost a close election to Maduro. He said,  “Change is not possible in Venezuela if the slums are not involved.”

Some people say that since Maduro was elected he should not be forced out of office.

Source: The New York Times                                                                                                                                                                     March 1, 2014








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