Political Unrest in Venezuela and the Assertion of the Public Voice

The Venezuela crisis opens up space for larger civil society participation as the benchmark of a health democracy. Elections can be manipulated but civic anger and resentment cannot be repressed for long and the Venezuela crisis is the perfect example this.

The New Leam Staff

The Venezuela crisis opens up space for larger civil society participation as the benchmark of a health democracy./Image Source :http://www.europarl.europa.eu

Venezuela political crisis has intensified after New Zealand has denied backing the state. Venezuela is facing a serious civic discontent over the issue of mismanagement and failing economy. The current crisis is said to be the worst as the country is witnessing civic backlash since 2010 (Hugo Chavez’s time). Problems of hunger, hyperinflation, disease, crime and death rates have been affecting the state since then but now these problems have intensified.

Former President of the Hugo Chavez died in 2013 and after which Nicolas Maduro was sworn as the President for six years within two weeks and in 2018 he won the elections again and was re-elected for another six years. His re-election was challenged by various opposition parties but he continued to stay power. Maduro enjoys a huge support from the military of the state. Military men support him because of the perks enjoyed by them under Maduro’s regime, although he does not shares a military background but he still continues to provide undue favors to military personnel. Like giving positions of power or high profile position in his cabinet.

Maduro’s re-election has been challenged by the opposition as the claim that the election did not take place in a free and fair manner. Protesting Maduro’s presidency, the head of the National Assembly Juan Guido declared himself as the acting President claiming that the position remains vacant pertaining to lack of transparency in election.
Guido has called for mass support from the protesting people and also states like USA as he feels two of these things together will help him to bring down the socialist regime of Maduro.

The Supreme Court judge of Venezuela Christian Zerpa in his conversation with the media said that “last year’s election was not free and competitive” he further also revealed how Maduro interfered in the matters of the court. Although Zerpa was a loyalist in the socialist regime of Maduro but all these events made him dissent and voice out his opinion against him.

As of now Guido has the support of US, UK, Canada and some Latin American countries that are backing his leadership in the state. But New Zealand has shown no support to the national assembly president even though in earlier times they did show strong resentment against the growing hyperinflation in the country.

Venezuela supports a presidential form of government with socialist democracy in place. Maduro’s re-election was considered as a denial of democratic and constitutional rights of the people. Maduro himself considers that the protest is illegitimate and his Presidency remains valid. According to Maduro the entire protest is a conspiracy against him which is strongly backed by USA. Maduro enjoys the support of states like Russia, Cuba, China, Bolivia, Turkey and its own military population but people of the state want a proper functioning democracy and a leader elected by them unanimously and therefore they continue to protest against the Maduro.

The situation in Venezuela questions the politics of appeasement towards the military population of the state so much so that their appeasement has badly affected the economic condition of the entire nation. Under Maduro’s military enjoyed the highest cabinet post and important powerful portfolios were awarded to military personnel who had lack of expertise in that domain. This irregularity in the political system contributed largely to the diminishing economic order of the country.

The crisis opens up space for larger civil society participation which is a by-product of democracy and is essential for the proper functioning of the state as well. Elections can be manipulated but civic anger and resentment cannot be repressed for too long and Venezuela crisis is the perfect example of the same situation.

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