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Venezuela Crisis: What has become of the uprising against Maduro?



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Media Title What are the real reasons for Venezuela's blackouts? inner circle, not with the opposition.

The big question is why they have withdrawn, though this Washington Post article tells a pretty convincing story of the intrigue.

It is clear that this was a sophisticated scheme, as we most likely will not see it again soon.

Dissatisfaction at the top uncovered ruptures in the Maduro government, suggesting that the president was weakened by internal tensions. But a month later, neither he nor the opposition chaired by National Assembly spokesman Juan Guaidó seem to be able to defeat the other in a bold final move.

Instead, they recorded cautious talks in a Norwegian-brokered new peace process in Oslo.

In the meantime, Venezuelans, who thought the attempted insurrection could stem the flood of their misery, have returned to survival.

In the truest sense of the word, for a young woman with whom I chatted near the center of Caracas.

She told me that she had been in the hospital for two months waiting for surgery for her broken vertebrae. But in the end, it did not happen because the doctors ran out of supplies, including disinfectants.

Out of 1

0 women who had undergone surgery during their time there, nine had returned home with a bacterial infection in the operating room, including one who was paralyzed by meningitis.

Such horror stories are endemic in this oil-rich nation, which is undergoing a profound economic crisis, fueled by years of mismanagement and government corruption, exacerbated by low oil prices.

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Thousands of people live in Petare, Venezuela's largest slum

Of course the most vulnerable are the children. Maria Gutierrez is at the forefront of the fight against malnutrition in the slums of Petare, the largest in Venezuela.

It ensures that the most needy children in their neighborhood eat once a day and serve a carefully prepared meal of rice, vegetables, and meat, cooked in their small kitchen and paid for by an oppositional organization.

"Look," she said to me, pulling two boys forward: "Look, how short they are." Her same-age son was twice as big.

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Even in the slums of Venezuela, people had enough to eat because they got subsidized food from the socialist government. They still get some, but much less when the economic crisis gets worse.

And it will almost certainly get worse if the US sanctions are paralyzed. This is the main strategy by which Trump's government is forcing Mr Maduro out of office to help him replace him with a transitional government organizing new presidential elections.

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Media Title Why Venezuela matters to the US … and vice versa

The US expected the powerful military to change sides. At least, as we have seen, this has not happened yet.

And negotiations were not part of the plan: "The only thing to negotiate with Nicolás Maduro is the conditions of his departure," the State Department said about the Oslo talks.

Neither, it seems, nor military intervention, despite the impending rhetoric that "all options are on the table".

However, some Venezuelans told me that they were open to outside intervention and desperate for another solution to the political impasse.

"We need the Marines," said an elderly man who condemned the government ministers as "bloodsuckers" and rejected the opposition led by Guaidó as ineffective. "Why are not you here yet?"

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AFP

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The opposition has organized protests, but Maduro has resisted the demands

Another elderly man in the same neighborhood also had little use for the government, but he was a supporter of left-wing political ideology, associated with former President Hugo Chávez and allegedly shared by his successor.

"I'm still a chavista," he said, then paused. "Why am I still a chavista?" he asked rhetorically: "I do not know either."

Maybe, I suggested, he was not a "Madurista".

As in all failed states, there is wealth – some come from old money, others from new money acquired through corruption or by those who have otherwise benefited from their attachment to the regime.

We have stayed in this bubble of prosperity in a five-star hotel that has seen better days.

I had a serious allergic reaction to the dirty air filters, but there was water, electricity and internet. It was a paradise.

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Social organizations distribute food to needy children in Caracas

There is only Petare for Maria.

She manages to work as a seamstress, but it's all about mending old clothes, and nobody can afford new ones. And when people need zippers, forget about them, they're not there anymore.

I wondered how she could fix the rag-piles in her small, damp shop, some of which had more holes than cloth.

But she earns a bag of rice or flour with each – five or six bags with 12 hours of work. She leaves at three in the morning, sleeps a few hours, and gets up to cook for the children.


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