For more than two years, Venezuela has struggled with shortages in food, medicine and basic services, and in recent months, growing violence and daily protests as a result of economic collapse. The country—previously one of the America’s wealthiest nations because of a rich supply of oil—has seen its economy drop by nearly 40% since 2006. NPR's Planet Money calls the disaster, caused by government decisions and triggered by a drop in oil prices, an "economic horror story." In addition, increased violence—fueled by President Nicolás Maduro call for a July 30 vote to bypass the National Assembly and elect a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the constitution, further consolidating his party’s power—threatens to move the country into even deeper crisis. Read about the ICRC’s work in Venezuela here.
If you’re in DC, there are a number of events focusing on the escalating situation in Venezuela next week. Make sure to check out Mark Your Calendar for more details.
In this week’s roundup, we take a look the growing violence and crisis in Venezuela, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**
Camila Domonoske reports that protests continue on the streets of Venezuela as a 24-hour general strike takes hold, the latest development in an ongoing political and economic crisis. Some citizens are trying to go to work despite the shutdown of public transportation; others are taking to blockaded streets in protest. There is widespread fear of more bloodshed after months of conflict and dozens of deaths.
Venezuela Crises Set to Escalate as General Strike Begins (The Guardian)
Alicia Hernandez and Sibylla Brodzinsky write that Venezuela is bracing for an escalation of the confrontation between the government and the opposition as the country awoke to near paralysis on Thursday at the beginning of a general strike as opponents of the president, Nicolás Maduro, try to block his plan to consolidate power.
Amid Crisis, Venezuela’s Youth Wait to Live Again (NYT Lens Blog)
David Gonzalez writes about photographer Adriana Loureiro Fernandez’s images of the protests and street clashes in Venezuela. She started in 2010 as a college student, tagging along with friends in Caracas who were into graffiti. She shot at night with only available light—a flash would have given her friends away. Now she’s documenting Venezuela’s youth amid crisis.
Rachelle Krygier and Anthony Faiola report an anti-government strike paralyzed large sections of Venezuela on Thursday as the nation risked spiraling into a deeper crisis ahead of a vote that many fear could move the country further down the path of authoritarian rule. President Nicolás Maduro played down the strike, and some areas in the capital and elsewhere appeared less affected. But in many districts, a significant number of businesses were shuttered and protesters blocked roads as the opposition sought to stage Venezuela’s largest general strike since 2002.
The Venezuelan Opposition is Going Global (Buzzfeed)
Karla Zabludovsky writes that months of protests have brought nothing but government wrath. Now the opposition looks to a symbolic — and global — effort to ratchet up the pressure.
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**The usual Intercross disclaimer: Just because something is featured here, doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it, and the views expressed on the platforms we're highlighting don't necessarily represent those of the ICRC. **