“Scenes of political turmoil have swept across Venezuela as citizens protest against unemployment, a rise in violent crime and surging inflation.
Demonstrators have also been protesting against the detention of opposition leader Leopoldo López, who surrendered to authorities on Wednesday after making a speech to thousands of supporters.
The government has claimed the protests and clashes are the early stages of a US-backed attempted coup. Recent weeks have also seen pro-government rallies and protests in support of the President, Nicolás Maduro.”
The writers spoke with readers who either support or have taken part in the protests. Check out excerpts of what supporters of the government opposition have to say below:
“Venezuelans have a million reasons to protest. We have one of the highest murder rates in the world – two people per hour – rampant inflation at a rate of 60% a year, basic products like milk, oil, sugar, chicken are not available in supermarkets, if we want to travel we have to go through a bureaucratic nightmare to be able to buy foreign currency limited to less than £2000 a year, we have no liberty of expression if we do not concur with the governments ideas we are completely ignored. We are protesting for our lives and our dignity.” – Scosti
“Official numbers put 2013 inflation rate at around 56% and murder casualties at more than 24000, two numbers that have only increased during 15 years. Scarcity of everyday goods is raising, corruption is rampant… but instead of listening to the protests who very accurately point at the government, what we have gotten is repressive use of the public force AND armed civil gangs which has resulted in at least 6 deaths, hundreds of injured and dozens of students in jail. All of this has been silenced from national media because of heavy censorship.We’re sick of hearing this sorry excuse for a president to blame “the Empire” and the “far-right” as culprits of his own mess.” – Julio G
Read more from protesters at The Guardian.