“Is Venezuela on the Verge of Civil War?” Francisco Toro, The Washington Post, 24 July 2017

“The street protests that have convulsed Venezuela for the past three-and-a-half months often turn violent: One hundred and two people have already died. Yet the most surprising aspect of the movement is not how rampant violence has been, but how restrained”.

Although the protests in Venezuela have lasted about three-and-a-half months, the violence perpetrated by protesters and security forces have been somewhat restrained. Both have used non-lethal force in their encounters and yet,  around 102 people have lost their lives, which is a small number considering the situation of the country. On one hand, the security forces cannot use live ammunition on the protesters and, the officers who have done so and have killed protesters have been charged. On the other hand, the protesters mostly throw stones and employ the Molotov cocktail in their demonstrations, which in the end is not as lethal as it may appear. However, it cannot be denied that the situation is changing. Venezuela is getting closer to a major civil conflict. Both sides are developing new strategies to gain the upper hand. At the end of June, a rogue cop in a helicopter opened fire on the building of the Supreme Court and a few days later pro-government activists physically assaulted the opposition-controlled National Assembly, attacked opposition legislators and members of the press with fireworks and clubs, leaving at least five lawmakers injured, one seriously. Furthermore, it has been reported that the opposition is improving their weaponry and systems of organization. In spite of this situation, the country has not reached a civil warlike conflict yet, which makes possible a negotiation to reach a solution to these dire circumstances.

 

 

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“Is Venezuela on the Verge of Civil War?” Francisco Toro, The Washington Post, 24 July 2017

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