Pro-Nicolas Maduro military forces thwarted a small military rebellion in the city of Valencia. The country of Venezuela has been roiled by uncertainty and fear in the midst of a historic economic crisis. Reuters reported in 2016 that consumer prices rose 800 percent. The astounding levels of inflation were coupled with Venezuela’s GDP shrinking 18.6 percent.
The latest spark for chaos in the near failed-state is the controversial establishment of a legislative superbody that is comprised entirely of Maduro’s ruling Socialist Party. It is anticipated that the newly formed 545-member legislative assembly will rewrite Venezuela’s constitution, granting Maduro sweeping powers.
Seven men clad in military uniforms were arrested in Valencia after a night of uprisings spark by their call to action on social media to oppose the newly formed legislative superbody, the National Constituent Assembly (ANC). The military clad personnel stated of the measures of rebellion taken, “This is a civic and military action to re-establish the constitutional order, but moreover, to save the country from total destruction. To catch the murders of our youth and relatives.”
Government officials described the events of the early morning hours as a “terrorist attack.”
Brazil’s government recommended that Venezuela be suspended from the South American trade bloc, Mercosur, until democracy is returned to the failing nation. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile are members of Mercosur. Brazil’s Foreign Minister Aloysio Ferreira told reporters, “We are saying: Stop with this! Enough with the deaths, enough with the repression. It is not possible to inflict such torture to the people.”
The first act of the the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) was to oust and schedule a trial for Venezuela’s attorney general, Luisa Ortega. Ortega has been a vocal critic of Maduro, and has vowed to investigate the controversial election that established the National Constituent Assembly (ANC). Of her dismissal, Ortega stated, “[This is] just a tiny example of what’s coming for everyone that dares to oppose this totalitarian form of ruling.”
Venezuelan government officials perceive the military rebellion led by Juan Juan Carlos Caguaripano in Valencia as being a conspiracy coordinated by the United States. Socialist Party official Elias Jaua stated, “These attacks, planned by delirious minds in Miami, only strengthen the morale of our armed forces and the Bolivarian people.”
Venezuela is an OPEC member state and has the largest oil reserves in the world. Analyst fear Venezuela is on the verge of becoming a violent civil war torn nation-state, just as fellow OPEC member states, Libya and Iraq, are.
[Featured Image by Ariana Cubillos/AP Images]