Venezuela unrest

This article appears on page 18 of the September 2017 issue.

A July 30 vote in Venezuela for members of a constituent assembly, tasked by president Nicolás Maduro with rewriting the Venezuelan constitution, went ahead despite months of antigovernment protests and strikes. Claims of fraud and irregularities followed the vote, which was also marred by violence, with 10 people killed, including a candidate for the assembly and an opposition leader.

The opposition parties boycotted the vote and fielded no candidates for the assembly, which has been accused of being part of a power grab by President Maduro, whose wife and son were among those elected to the assembly.

Antigovernment protests and strikes in Venezuela, often violent, have been ongoing since April 1. More than 120 people have been killed in that time and thousands have been arrested. The government threatened protesters with 10 years in jail if they disrupted the voting for the constituent assembly, but millions remained on the streets during the vote.