Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Venezuela Protests

There will be dueling protests in Venezuela today. The opposition wants massive turnout, while the government is trying to turn out its own supporters and deploy colectivos basically to intimidate people. Nicolás Maduro has made creepy reference to handing guns to civilian militia as well, with a "civil military plan." That can't mean anything good.

I feel like the opposition's main hope at this point is to increase the number of soft-liners within the government in order to make it follow the constitution. We already know there are fault lines. Those soft-liners have no love for the opposition (which, I would think, holds them back) but they value democracy. They see the devastation around them and when combined with large numbers of Venezuelans on the streets, they find it harder to stand behind Maduro. Some of these soft-liners are undoubtedly in the military as well, though how that plays out is unpredictable because it depends a lot on rank.


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