Several persons have died and hundreds have been wounded in protests in Venezuela that have included the use of weapons by some protesters. According to Al Jazeera, “transport is frequently disrupted by people at improvised roadblocks who charge tolls to those seeking passage or throw rocks at those who attempt to move on without paying.”
The background is a capitalist economy in which working people suffer and inflation is sky-high.
President Nicolas Maduro has offered to meet with the right-wing opposition leader, Enrique Capriles. Capriles refused to meet with Maduro, claiming that the current administration is “a dying government.” Maduro was elected recently and his term of office has several years left to go.
Such statements as Capriles’ recall the military coup d’etat attempt of 2002, against the popular government of Hugo Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor. The U.S. governments immediately recognized the coup regime. According to Wikipedia, “Rear Admiral Carlos Molina, a central leader of the coup, later said that ‘We felt we were acting with US support… we agree that we can’t permit a communist government here. The US has not let us down yet’.”
The CIA was involved in 2002 and is active today in plotting to overturn what the Venezuelans call the Bolivarian revolution. The New York Times recently reported, “The Central Intelligence Agency was aware that dissident military officers and opposition figures in Venezuela were planning a coup against President Hugo Chávez in 2002, newly declassified intelligence documents show. But immediately after the overthrow, the Bush administration blamed Mr. Chávez, a left-leaning populist, for his own downfall and denied knowing about the threats.”
A U.S.-backed coup in Venezuela would follow the 2009 coup in Honduras, which is the location of a U.S. Air Force base. That coup was denounced throughout Latin America, but the White House did not recognize it as a coup and continued its collaboration with the Honduran military. Washington’s overt military hostility to Venezuela is in part motivated by Venezuela’s friendship with Cuba, which the U.S. has militarily attacked and economically and diplomatically has attempted to isolate.