NEW ORLEANS — Venezuela’s opposition movement is promising to follow its huge march last week with a march this week to the Presidential Palace to demand the restitution of the recently shut down recall referendum. The government of President Nicolás Maduro has mobilized its followers to defend the revolution in the streets. It is a confrontation unlikely to have a happy ending.
I first visited Venezuela in 1992, eight months after Hugo Chávez’s failed coup d’état. It was a desolate period. Not only was an economic crisis grinding at the spirits of the people, there was a sense that Venezuela’s political elite was irremediably out of touch with the population, and doing what it could to prevent change.
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