Mar 04 2014

Disentangling Fact From Fiction in Venezuela

Anti-government protests in Venezuela have continued unabated even though the South American nation this week celebrates Carnival – a traditional celebration. Dozens of protesters have been arrested including the high-profile and telegenic leader Leopoldo Lopez, accused of fomenting the unrest. The government this weekend released over 40 protesters. At least 18 people have been killed in clashes.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, who has been in office for barely a year, is facing the toughest test of his short tenure. His predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, who launched the Bolivarian socialist revolution, faced an unsuccessful coup in 2002 which was backed by the US. Maduro has attributed this latest unrest to more US interference.

The US press has cast the Venezuelan dissenters as pro-democracy activists, and played up the government’s tactics as overly harsh. Even actor Jared Leto during his Oscar acceptance speech on Sunday sent a shout-out to the Venezuelan opposition, calling them “dreamers.”

GUEST: Gregory Wilpert, founder of Venezuelanalysis.com and author of Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chávez Government, and Director of Telesur English, a multi-media website that is to be launched this coming July, based in Quito, Ecuador

Visit www.venezuelaanalysis.com for analysis of Venezuelan politics.

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