Venezuela confronts volatile fuel dilemma

Financial Times, 2014-06-24

Mr Maduro, a former bus driver himself, may have no choice. Street riots this year that have left over 40 dead, plus over 60 per cent inflation and scarcities of basic goods have seen his approval ratings drop to 39 per cent, according to a late May poll by the Caracas-based Datanálisis, which also found that eight out of 10 Venezuelans believe the country’s situation is “bad”.

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Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez must stand trial, judge rules

BBC 2014-06-05

A Venezuelan judge has ordered opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to stand trial on charges of instigating violence at an anti-government protest in February.

Mr Lopez of the Popular Will party has been in jail since he handed himself in to the authorities on 18 February.

The charges relate to demonstrations on 12 February, during which three people were killed.

If found guilty, Mr Lopez could face up to 10 years in jail.

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The Venezuelan nightmare

2014-05-20 CNN

Images of repression and brutality against peaceful protesters demanding democracy and the elimination of corruption are not limited to Ukraine.

In our hemisphere, Venezuelans are suffering at the hands of their own government. Violence and systematic human rights abuses have resulted in 41 dead, hundreds injured, and thousands detained.

These rights violations in Venezuela were chronicled this month by Human Rights Watch in a 103-page report, entitled ”Punished for Protesting: Rights Violations in Venezuela’s Streets, Detention Centers, and Justice System.”

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Venezuela committing systematic human rights abuses, report says

2014-05-05 The Guardian

Judges and prosecutors in Venezuela have repeatedly ignored evidence of systematic human rights abuses by government security forces, a prominent human rights group said on Monday.

Human Rights Watch said in a new report that dozens of unarmed protesters have been subject to serious physical and psychological abuse during protests that have left at least 41 dead since February. Abuses have included broken bones, denial of medical treatment and threats of rape or death.

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How Maduro is interfering in Venezuela’s schools

2014-04-24 FP

There are many reasons why Venezuela’s opposition has been protesting for the past two months. The obvious ones are the country’s dramatic crime wave and sharpened scarcity of goods, but one of the least reported issues has to do with the government’s efforts to meddle in the country’s schools.

Venezuela has an extensive network of public schools, one that existed long before Hugo Chávez came to power. Due to the spotty quality of the education these schools impart, there is also a large web of private schools that has always operated with relative freedom, although under close government supervision. This peaceful coexistence, however, was shattered in 2012 when the government passed ”Resolución 058.” The text, which emanated from the Ministry of Education, changed the entire governance structure for both public and private schools. Recent steps to fully implement it have set off alarm bells in the entire opposition education community.

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Venezuela: Unarmed Protestors Beaten, Shot

Human Rights Watch 2014-05-05

(Washington) – Venezuelan security forces have used unlawful force in response to antigovernment demonstrations, severely beating unarmed protesters and shooting them at point blank range, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Security forces also subjected detainees to severe physical and psychological abuse, including in some cases torture, and justice officials failed to safeguard detainees’ due process rights.

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