Venezuela. In July, just six months after diplomatic relations were re-established with neighboring Colombia following last year’s conflict, President Hugo Chávez again froze contacts. The reason was Colombia’s plans to give several of its military bases to the US military to help with the fight against organized crime and terrorism, which Chavez perceived as an aggressive act. According to countryaah, Chávez, who has long advocated a strong anti-American and anti-imperialist rhetoric, and also been on a confrontational course with Colombia’s right-wing President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, ordered reinforcements of Venezuela’s defense at the border with Colombia. The conflict gained further fuel when, a few days later, Uribe Vélez announced the discovery of several Swedish-made weapons found in left-wing FARC.
On February 15, a referendum approved amendments to the Constitution that will allow a sitting head of state to be re-elected as many times as possible, a change that is primarily considered tailor-made for President Chávez himself before the 2012 presidential election. once for a second term. A similar referendum was held just over a year before, in December 2007, ending with a defeat for Chávez, but this time 55 percent of voters, which represented 67 percent of the total electorate, voted for the proposal. However, the margin of victory was less than expected, and the opposition made significant advances in opinion. Among other things, the down side won in the two largest states Zulia and Miranda as well as in the capital Caracas. The excitement for next year’s congressional elections rose, as the opposition could dominate the legislative process for the first time in 10 years. Hugo Chávez, by the way, celebrated his 10 years in power in Venezuela by declaring February 2 for a public holiday.
The December 2015 parliamentary election was a staggering defeat for the ruling PSUV. The election was won by the opposition assembled in the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD), which passed 45 seats up to 109. with legislative power. The relationship between MUD and President Maduro was so bitter that there was no cooperation. MUD countered the president and vice versa.
A few days before the election, the right wing had triumphed in Argentina, and the new president Macri threatened as one of his first official acts to have Venezuela thrown out of Mercosur. However, a threat he withdrew after the right wing won in Venezuela.
In January 2016, Maduro declared the country in a state of emergency. It was extended every 3 months throughout the year.
In an attempt to overthrow the president, in March 2016, the opposition asked the National Electoral Council (CNE) to have a referendum on whether Maduro should continue as president. CNE decided in August that there was sufficient support for the proposal to continue, but in November the Election Council decided that the vote would not be carried out. In response, the opposition conducted large-scale demonstrations and violent riots, costing 1 police officer life and over 100 wounded.
On May 12, 2016, corrupt parliamentarians in Brazil conducted a coup d’état against incumbent President Dilma Roussef. The day after, Maduro put Venezuela in emergency mode. In July, the state of emergency was extended to an “economic state of emergency”. at the same time, the border crossings to Colombia were temporarily opened to enable the population to obtain food in neighboring countries.
In late March 2017, the Supreme Court decided to deprive Parliament of its powers of power, allegedly because a number of parliamentarians had disdained the court by criticizing the 2015 election. However, the Supreme Court’s decision was reversed the following day. But by then, state prosecutor Luisa Ortega had sharply criticized the court for sabotaging parliamentarism.
In April, Maduro ran for election to a constitutional assembly. The opposition did not want a new constitution but to have Maduro removed and therefore boycotted the election. In July, 364 members were elected to the Constituent Assembly. An additional 181 were appointed by unions, municipal councils, indigenous peoples organizations, farmers, students and retirees. Due. the opposition boycott immediately became the turnout of the elections. CNE stated that over 8 million had voted the equivalent of 41.5% of voters. At the other end, the Opposition’s MP declared a maximum of 2 million. had voted.
Venezuela declared in April 2017 that it wanted to withdraw from the OAS because of the regional organizational criticism of the country. The cancellation would take 2 years. In June, the OAS failed to agree on a criticism by the Venezuelan government of the unrest in the country. At the head of the trial was the United States and Mexico, but only 20 of the OAS’s 34 member countries supported, and the declaration required a 2/3 majority corresponding to 23 member states.
From April, the opposition made every effort to overthrow Maduro. In the middle of the month a large demonstration was held in Caracas with hundreds of thousands of participants. Maduro responded again by mobilizing a similar number in support of the government. Until the beginning of August, the opposition carried out violent attacks on security forces and blocked the main roads. A clear indication of where the violence originated was that most people killed were police officers or supporters of Maduro. Yet, the bourgeois media in Venezuela, Latin America, the United States and Europe carried out an intense campaign that portrayed the Venezuelan government as the violent and undemocratic party. It was a media campaign similar to the bourgeoisie carried out in 1972-73 for the purpose of overthrowing Salvador Allende in Chile.