No Easy Way Out for Venezuelans

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Chaos, it seems, has become a new norm in Venezuela. In the past month, masses of peaceful protesters opposed to President Nicolás Maduro have been violently dispersed by state security forces almost every day. Masked demonstrators burn barricades and face off regularly with armed quasi-paramilitary motorcycle gangs, known as colectivos, controlled by the government. So far, in the last month of unrest, nearly 30 people have been killed.

The current turmoil in Venezuela began when the Supreme Court, packed with Chavista loyalists of the Maduro regime, issued a ruling on March 29 that essentially dissolved the already-marginalized National Assembly and assumed the country’s legislative powers for itself. Although the court quickly reversed the ruling in the face of domestic protests and international outcry, the episode revealed the fragility of even a semblance of constitutional order in the country and sparked long-simmering tensions. 

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