Venezuela has been at the end of its rope for a long time. Between the food shortages, sky-high inflation, record levels of crime, and a rapid decline of their standard of living, the people of Venezuela can’t take much more. And it appears that their breaking point may have finally been reached last month, when President Maduro tried to strip the powers of the opposition led parliament, which would have made him a full-blown dictator.
Since then, the parties opposing him have promised to lead the “Mother of all Protests,” which began today. The event was preceded by two weeks of protests that saw the deaths of five people, and hundreds of injuries at the hands of riot police. One was a 14-year-old boy who had been shot in the abdomen by government supporters.
Three more protesters were killed today, as tens of thousands of people confronted the police and government supporters throughout the country. Graphic images of one protester who had been shot in the head have surfaced, as well as several photos of mob violence and police confrontations. At least 30 people have been arrested.
Because the country is on the verge of collapse, opposition leaders are calling for an early election, which they believe will oust Maduro. They’re also calling for the release of opposition politicians who have been arrested in the past. It appears the only thing standing between the protesters and Maduro is the military and police, both of which have been called to the streets to quell the protests. The military remains the last institution that is still fiercely loyal to the Maduro regime.