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Venezuela opposition losing momentum?
September 17, 2016, 7:07 pm

Protests which just two weeks counted as many as one million people fizzled to several hundred Saturday [Xinhua]

Protests which just two weeks counted as many as one million people fizzled to several hundred Saturday [Xinhua]

Protests against President Nicholas Maduro continued in Caracas albeit in dwindling numbers, as the opposition rallied hundreds for its latest march on Friday.

Anger rose as the Venezuelan National Election Board had delayed a meeting to determine the next stage of a referendum process on Maduro’s rule to Monday citing security reasons.

Meanwhile, the opposition has accused the election board of foot-dragging and bias towards the regime.

Still, support for the opposition has waned in contrast to earlier this month when a demonstration of one million people marched through the streets of the capital.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets of the capital Caracas on Thursday to protest against President Nicholas Maduro, in what was the largest show of opposition to the government since inflation soared and vital food staples disappeared from the shelves.

Protesters dressed in white and shouted “this government will fall”, as they rallied for a referendum reinstating confidence in Maduro’s government from earlier this year to be recalled.

But elsewhere in Caracas, Maduro supporters donned red shirts, promoting the color of the ruling socialist party.

At a rally organized to counter the protests, they carried flags and handwritten signs accusing the opposition of trying to mount a coup.

In order to contest Maduro’s rule, 20 per cent of eligible voter signatures need to be collected. In Venezuela, that number translated to approximately four million people.

The protests come amid a national fiscal debacle that is only set to worsen and an inflation rate that has surprised even the most pessimistic of forecasters as it nears 1,000 per cent.

Venezuela is in one of the worst economic crises in the history of Latin America.
In just the past year, food protests have increased exponentially as prices skyrocketed.

The crime rate has soared with violent robberies taking place including hundreds of looting incidents.

Venezuelans now face multiple daily power outages while businesses shut down and factory output drops significantly.

Even for those who can afford to buy food, staple scarcity has become a major challenge for the government.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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