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Violent Protests Continue in Venezuela after President Calls for Constitutional Assembly

ISSN:1060-4189
LADB Article ID: 80342
Category/Department: Venezuela
Date: 2017-07-07
By: Andrés Gaudín

Facing an unmanageable domestic situation that is being exacerbated by violent street clashes between pro- and anti-government supporters, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro took the surprising and disconcerting step on May 1 of calling for an Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (National Constitutional Assembly, ANC). Once gathered, the body would institutionalize the presence in the state apparatus of certain pro-government sectors of society and draft a new Constitution.The governing Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV) hoped in this way to gain some political breathing room and at the same time quiet the protests that have routinely filled roads, streets, and avenues, and have been accompanied, in recent weeks, by a wave of lootings, attacks on public offices, and other senseless acts of violence. The ANC plan is meant, it would seem, to benefit the government. But the immediate impact of the announcement was something Maduro and his allies probably didn’t anticipate: It unified the opposition.

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