Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Venezuela is entering a new cycle of demonstrations and political intrigue as the anniversary of last year's protracted and violent protests approaches. President Nicolas Maduro's much-anticipated speech on economic strategy offered nothing of substance, with the president's vagueness on economic policy matched by the opposition, which is prioritising political unity over elaboration of a programme of government.
- Maduro's effort at 'dialogue' on lifting fuel subsidies, rather than imposing a price hike, shows lack of leadership.
- The opposition will again step up street agitation; pro-government counter-mobilisation will increase instability.
- Claims against Cabello, a key opposition target given his hard line on security, will inflame US tensions and rumours over military splits.