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.

Venezuelans burn effigies in Easter ritual

In a traditional Easter Day ritual Venezuelans burn effigies representing President Nicolas Maduro, opposition leader Juan Guaido, Donald Trump and the blackout that recently plunged the country into darkness.

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.”

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Venezuela’s Maduro blasts US sanctions as ‘illegal’, ‘immoral’

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro slams as “illegal” and “immoral” new US sanctions against its central bank in the latest US effort to strangle Maduro’s cash flow. SOUNDBITE

Venezuela’s Maduro: humanitarian aid is ‘politicised show’ of US

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says that the “false narrative of humanitarian aid … was a politicised show of the US and Colombian governments to intervene in Venezuela”, on the day that the first shipment of Red Cross humanitarian aid arrived in the country. SOUNDBITE

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

Pompeo prioritizes Venezuela crisis in Paraguay

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Saturday a “tyrant” who has caused the ruin of the South American country and its people. (April 13)

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Guaido

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.

Maduro says deal reached with Red Cross to send Venezuela aid

President Nicolas Maduro announces an agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross to bring humanitarian aid into Venezuela. SOUNDBITE

Maduro slams arrogance of ‘fool’ Pence at UN

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro slams an “arrogant” US Vice President Mike Pence, saying he had made “a fool of himself” by calling on the UN to recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido, Maduro’s rival. SOUNDBITE