Venezuela’s protests in 2014 led by a student movement have been blaming the 15 years under Hugo Chavez as the reason for their actions.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Venezuelan beauty queen Genesis Carmona was fatally shot during the student protests although it’s possible the two events are unrelated. Unknown gunmen on motorcycles are said to have shot people with rubber bullets. While not related to the protests, former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear was also shot and killed fairly recently during a roadside robbery.
Because of Venezuela’s protests, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was arrested by the social government and will face charges for allegedly inciting violence. President Nicolas Maduro even ordered his arrest due to a homicide although it’s not clear who he supposedly murdered. Perhaps because of this noted vagueness the terrorism and murder charges against Lopez have already been dropped.
Speaking before a crowd of thousands with a megaphone, Lopez decried the Venezuelan government for its actions under Chavez:
“If my jailing serves to awaken a people, serves to awaken Venezuela… then it will be well worth the infamous imprisonment imposed upon me directly, with cowardice.”
Third party human rights groups already say Lopez’s arrests are based upon conspiracy theories and United States Secretary of State says the actions of the Venezuelan government will have a “chilling effect” on the freedom and rights of the people. A lawyer speaking for Lopez says he still faces 10 years in prison if convicted of arson and conspiracy.
After the arrest of Lopez, the violence of Venezuela’s protests died down almost completely although there are reports of injuries to 11 people. The student protests have focused on how the country has suffered from economic woes under the socialist government. The opposition groups led by Lopez seek to have a more democratic government now that Hugo Chavez is dead:
“It’s not that we’re simply demanding change,” says student leader Juan Requesens. “We’re showing that this inefficient, ineffective, and corrupt government is responsible for this mess.”
Still, Venezuela’s protests are not unified in all of their goals. There are multiple opposition groups but some analysts claim they do not bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, which would unify much of the opposition to the social government led by Maduro. There are also leaders who condemn the violence as being counter-productive to their cause. Regardless. the student movement is said to likely bolster the efforts of the opposition.