Violence has reigned in this deeply divided country. In videos that have been uploaded by citizens on social media sites, it is possible to see the confrontation between the military and government supporters against the opposition’s protestors. Militarization has begun as tanks appeared in Barquisimeto and Palavecino. There are at least 7 people reported dead, 63 wounded and 170 arrested.
In the states of Táchira and Anzoátegui two buildings owned by Hugo Chavez’ political party the PSUV have been burned down.
Nicolas Maduro has blamed opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski for instigating violence. Capriles has continued to make calls for peace and peaceful protest. He responded to the fires with the following statement:
“Those that are with me love peace. Nobody should stray from that path. The government wants violence! Don’t get angry…the illegitimate [government] want that!”
The government has since stated that they are carrying a full investigation that could land Capriles in jail for ‘instigating violence’.
Both sides continue to point fingers; blaming each other for the uproar.
4. Previous Hugo Chavez Supporters Voted for Capriles
Analysts estimated that roughly 1 million voters who supported Hugo Chávez last October—when he won re-election against Capriles—changed sides this time around. Nicolas Maduro’s There is a clear and undeniable shrinking gap between supporters of the government and the opposition; making the country more clearly divided than ever. Many believe that this could be the beginning of the end of Hugo Chavez’ political party as numbers indicate a clear decline in support.
5. Protests Are Expected to Continue Throughout the Week
As of now Tuesday marks a full day of protests in Venezuela. The opposition has called for a peaceful political march Wednesday. Protests also continue to percolate in cities outside of Venezuela, such as Miami, Washington D.C and New York. During the New York protest, people chanted “Where is my vote?” Referring to the 100,000 ballots that were cast outside of Venezuela that have yet to be counted by the Electoral Council
The objective of Wednesday’s opposition march in Caracas is to deliver a letter to the electoral authorities for a constitutionally allowed recount. The head of the Electoral Council has stated that a recount will not be processed. Nicolas Maduro has not only “prohibited” the “peaceful march” but has has promised to “radicalize the revolution if the protest continue.” Capriles responded to this threat by saying in a televised address, “I ask Maduro if he’s going to radicalize the poverty, the electrical black-outs and the food shortages as well.”
UPDATE: Capriles has stated in a live press conference that there will NOT be a march to the Electoral Council to avoid confrontation.
With the controversial Hugo Chávez gone, Venezuela is on the cusp of a new era. But it remains heavily divided, into two apparently irreconcilable political camps.