Maduro risks mounting militarisation in Venezuela

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Significance

It is as yet unclear whether the police officer in question acted alone, although he apparently once worked for former Interior and Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres, who, the government claims, is linked to the CIA and whose arrest has reportedly been ordered. The death toll in ongoing anti-government protests continues to rise, now totalling an estimated 75 since April. The failure of the Organization of American States (OAS) to agree a resolution on Venezuela at its General Assembly has emboldened Caracas while demonstrating the inability of the regional body to determine a course of action that can help to resolve the country’s political crisis.

Impacts

  • Violence will continue as the opposition relies on protests to weaken the government and erode participation in the assembly elections.
  • Each protest-related death is serving to entrench a paralysing cycle of demonstration and repression.
  • As the OAS flounders, the United States will likely move unilaterally to impose new sanctions on Venezuelan officials.
  • Changes to military figures in the government will deepen political rifts between different elements and factions in the security sector.
  • Yesterday's attack suggests that, in the event of a serious military intervention, this would be violent and bloody.
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