Venezuelans protest water shortage on Earth Day

People protest water shortage in Caracas showing dirty water and blaming President Nicolas Maduro’s government for it.

How Maduro Has Clung Onto Power In Venezuela (HBO)

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has had a tumultuous 2019.

He’s been locked in a power struggle with 35-year-old Juan Guaidó since January, when the young opposition leader declared himself Venezuela’s rightful interim president with the backing of 50 countries, including the U.S. He’s faced several rounds of sanctions that have crippled the country’s oil sector and sharply exacerbated an already disastrous crisis, making an economic recovery all but impossible any time soon. He’s overseen one massive power outage after another, leaving entire neighborhoods without running water for days or even weeks at a time.

In spite of all this, Maduro has managed to hang on to power. He’s done so in part by maintaining control of key political institutions, especially the military, through a combination of patronage and intimidation. But he also counts on a hard core of support among the population, which has less to do with Maduro himself than with the legacy of the man who was president before him: Hugo Chávez.

Over his 15 years in power, Chávez became a national hero of near-mythic proportions by lifting millions out of poverty: He reduced hunger and extreme poverty by half, nearly wiped out illiteracy, and transformed Venezuela’s barrios by supplying them with proper housing and basic goods and services, organizing them politically in the process. And while the catastrophic economic breakdown Venezuela is currently suffering has badly weathered support for Maduro among the poor, many still have faith in the larger chavista project, and don’t see the U.S.-led opposition as a viable alternative.

“Yes, people are disappointed, but even though they’re disappointed, they’re not with the opposition — they’re passive,” said Olga Andrade, a resident of a Caracas barrio. “Because what exactly does the opposition have to offer? How long have they been fighting for this or that, and what have they accomplished? They haven’t done anything.”

Subscribe to VICE News here:

Check out VICE News for more:

Follow VICE News here:
More videos from the VICE network:

A caravan of humanitarian aid trucks arrives in Caracas

A caravan of humanitarian aid from the Red Cross arrives in Caracas, after President Nicolas Maduro approved its entry amid a struggle with opposition leader Juan Guaido. IMAGES


Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader who declared himself interim president in January in a bid to replace Nicolas Maduro, attends various rallies in Caracas after he called for fresh protests to keep the pressure on Maduro.

Venezuela’s Guaido addresses supporters during fresh protests

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido addresses supporters during a demonstration in Caracas, where he called for fresh protests to keep the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro. IMAGES

Fresh blackout hits Caracas

Caracas went dark on Tuesday night following the latest blackout in the Venezuelan capital. IMAGES

Venezuelans divided as Guaido calls ‘everyone to the streets’

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his supporters throng the streets of Caracas to protest against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, as massive blackouts and the collapse of water supplies further exacerbated a growing political crisis. Meanwhile, thousands march toward the Miraflores presidential palace in a demonstration called by President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela’s Guaido addresses thousands in Caracas

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido addresses thousands of supporters at a rally he called in Caracas, to protest against the regime of President Nicolas Maduro, as massive blackouts and the collapse of water supplies further exacerbated a growing political crisis. IMAGES

Thousands gather in Caracas for fresh opposition protests

Thousands of people gather in Venezuela’s capital after opposition leader Juan Guaido urged his supporters to demonstrate in the streets to maintain pressure on his rival President Nicolas Maduro, amid rising anger over the collapse of public services. IMAGES

Police patrols after riots erupt in Caracas amid power rationing

Venezuelan security forces patrol in various neighbourhoods of Caracas after demonstrators took to the streets during the night to protest power cuts and water shortages, following the announcement by President Nicolas Maduro of 30 days of electricity rationing.