by Ana Quintana
The Heritage Foundation
March 04, 2014
For the past few weeks, Venezuela has been rocked by anti-government protests. What started as small-scale demonstrations in the capital city of Caracas has escalated to mobilizations throughout the country. In response, the Venezuelan government has ordered security forces from the national guard to armed motorcycle gangs to brutally crack down on the democratic opposition. Thousands have been beaten and tortured, and at least a dozen have been killed. Leopoldo Lopez, a grassroots democratic opposition leader, has been arrested on politically motivated charges. Three U.S. diplomats have also been expelled for allegedly conspiring with the opposition. The government has instituted a virtual media blackout. The inexcusable and politically motivated violence against unarmed protestors demands international condemnation. It is important for the Obama Administration to show leadership and respond quickly, as the continued lack of action will only serve to further embolden the lawless government of Venezuela.

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