Seven hundred percent inflation and three straight years of economic hardship have many Venezuelans opposing the current government (Al Jazeera 1). Demands for President Maduro’s resignation sparked massive protests throughout Venezuela. Almost a million protesters flooded the streets of Caracas earlier this month (Al Jazeera 2). On Wednesday, members of the Venezuelan legislature ruled that a referendum cannot take place in 2016. The opposition vowed to push for a referendum this year, because the timing is key. If Maduro is not removed in 2016, new elections will not take place and the Venezuelan Socialist Party will stay in power until 2018 (Reuters).
Reactions to these recent events could trigger more demonstrations. According to Jesus Torrealba, the head of the Democratic Unity Coalition, the people of Venezuela are “ready to fight” (Al Jazeera 1). The Venezuelan legislature has decided the next step in the electoral process to remove Maduro. Four million Venezuelans, roughly 20 percent of voters, need to sign a petition over three days in late October to trigger a referendum vote. Torrealba is confident that millions of Venezuelans will mobilize; if not, the referendum will be called off (Al Jazeera 1).
Tags: elections, Venezuela, protests, South America, Maduro, McDonough