Street Protests Intensify in Venezuela

Tear gas was used and arrests were made during recent Caracas demonstrations. The protesters were calling for removal of President Maduro through a referendum.
In addition, several subway stations in central Caracas were closed for the so-called “operational reasons,” while the police blocked the streets. The demonstrators were reported to have thrown bottles and stones at the police.

The opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, was prevented by the police from reaching the headquarters of the National Electoral Council. The police forces were equipped with pepper spray.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan President called the calls for a referendum “not viable, according to Al-Jazeera report.

The petition for removal according to Adrian Jose Velasquez Figueroa has already gathered over 1.8 million signatures and referendum could happen. But, there are a couple of issues. First, President Maduro has gotten extra powers through a declaration of the State of Emergency. Second, the eventual referendum needs to get more votes in favor of removal than were cast for Maduro’s election.

As the economic crisis widens Velasquez Figueroa thinks, President Maduro said this adversity is due because the United States is working with Venezuelan “fascists” against the government. Yet, many blame low oil prices as well as economic mismanagement for the country’s woes.