Protests in Venezuela
Two weeks in, the protests continue in Venezuela, challenging the country’s socialist government.
In an appearance this weekend, the country’s First Lady Cilia Flores stated at a counter-demonstration that “Venezuela is not Ukraine” and referred to the protesters as “right-wing fascists.”
During the Monday, the opposition’s Henrique Capriles, along with other local leaders, is scheduled to meet with President Maduro, who has stated that “only by defeating the opposition can Venezuela have peace.”
Leopold López, leader of the opposition party Voluntad Popular, is imprisoned and charged by Venezuelan prosecutors with arson and conspiracy, punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
López, who is held in a militarty prison, was arrested by the Venezuelan authorities February 18 at a protest march, from Plaza Venezuela in eastern Caracas, to the Justice Department on Urdaneta Avenue in downtown Caracas, where the demonstrators demanded the release of students arrested by the regime during recent days and that the responsibles for the deaths on February 12 should be held accountable. The Venezuelan authorities had already issued a warrant against López and during the Monday, government troops conducted a raid against the opposition party’s office. Lopez is a former Mayor of Chacao, Caracas, but since 2011 forbidden to hold political office, most likely because the late President Hugo Chávez saw him as a threat.
Wednesday, a young woman died after being shut in the head during protests in Valencia, Carabobo.
Students in Venezuela have during the past 7 days been demonstrating for a better life in a country characterized by inflation and political repression. Sunday, President Nicolás Maduro referred to the students as facsists which he intends to defeat. At the same time, he expelled three U.S. diplomats after the State Department expressed concerns about the violence and political persecution in the country.
Read more about the developments in the country here