Is Venezuela about to tip over?

You won’t see this yet on mainstream sites, but it appears there are massive problems in Venezuela that is now tipping over into significant violence.

Reason.com hints at the unfolding unrest:

Hugo Chavez considered himself and his party and the people of Venezuela one and the same. He created an expansive welfare state that built a dependency in the population not just on the Venezuelan government, but on Chavez? United Socialist Party. After his death, his chosen successor Nicholas Maduro?mobilized?every part of the Venezuelan state he could to secure his election, ?officially? winning with just 50.8 percent of the vote. That was enough of a victory, nevertheless, to?claim a mandate?to move forward on an ambitious program of total control by the state. What happened next shouldn?t be surprising. The standard of living in Venezuela continued to decline. The government imposed price controls on everything from?used cars?to?toilet paper?to?all consumer goods, then blamed capitalists and not their own destructive government intervention on the economic disaster price controls exacerbated.

Now, less than a year after Maduro?s ?victory,? a critical mass of Venezuela?s population has had enough, taking to the streets in some of the largest protests the South American country has seen in its history.?El Comercio?in Peru?explains?that the Maduro government is using its ?Board of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television? to threaten news outlets in the country that transmit images that could ?foment anxiety,? like video of the protests and government violence therein, with sanctions. You can see video via Peru’s?El Comercio?purporting to show a student being killed by pro-government forces?here.?

Venezuelan sites though have much more detail.

Listen and understand.?The game changed in Venezuela last night.What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night,?panicked people told their stories of?state-sponsored paramilitaries?on?motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods,?shooting at people and ?storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting. People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and?a long established local Human Rights NGO?makes an urgent plea for an investigation?into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen?shooting tear gas canisters?directly into residential buildings. We have videos of?soldiers shooting civilians on the street.?And that?s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next,?a city of 645,000 inhabitants?has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook ?block? campaign.

What we saw were not ?street clashes?, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.

It appears that Venezuela is about to tip over.

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