Venezuelan protests (2014-)

Since the beginning of 2014, a series of protests, political demonstrations, and civil unrest have been occurring throughout Venezuela. The protests erupted largely as a result of Venezuela's high levels of violence, inflation, and chronic shortages of basic goods, which protesters claim are caused by economic policies such as strict price controls. At least 6,369 protests occurred during the first six months of the year, with the highest numbers of them being reported in February and March.

Nicolas Maduro's government characterized the protests as an undemocratic coup d'etat attempt orchestrated by "fascist" opposition leaders and the United States. The Venezuelan government has been widely condemned for its handling of the protests as security forces have reportedly gone beyond typical practices of handling protests, with methods ranging from the use of rubber pellets and tear gas to instances of live ammunition and torture of arrested protestors, according to organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Other problems include media censorship and violence by pro-government militant groups known as colectivos. Venezuela's government has also been accused of politically-motivated arrests of opponents, most notably former Chacao mayor and leader of Popular Will, Leopoldo Lopez, who surrendered himself in February, responding to controversial charges of murder and inciting violence, using his arrest to protest the government's "criminalization of dissent." Maduro, a former trade union leader, rejects many of the claims against his government, saying he supports peaceful protesting and has set up a council to investigate human rights violation claims and a truth commission to investigate all the acts of violence that have occurred; he blames capitalism and speculation for causing high inflation rates and goods scarcities as part of an "economic war" being waged on his government.

The protests, which have been called a "Venezuelan Spring," in reference to the ongoing Arab Spring, have resulted in thousands of arrests, between 800 and 5000 injuries, and over 40 deaths, including both supporters and opponents of the government.

Anti-Maduro Protest in Altamira Square; Caracas, Venezuala, April 2017

Anti-Maduro Protest in Altamira Square; Caracas, Venezuala, April 2017

Taken on: 2017-04-19
Source: Jamez42/Wikipedia

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Hold a Venezuela Solidarity Rally; Gaza, Mar 2015

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Hold a Venezuela Solidarity Rally; Gaza, Mar 2015

Taken on: 2015-03-21
Source: İntifada Yayınları/Twitter

Objects on Fire During Protests;Caracas, Venezuela, May 2014

Objects on Fire During Protests;Caracas, Venezuela, May 2014

Taken on: 2014-05-10
Source: Carlos Diaz/Wikipedia

Protester in Venezuela wearing a Guy Fawkes mask;Venezuela, May 2014

Protester in Venezuela wearing a Guy Fawkes mask;Venezuela, May 2014

Taken on: 2014-05-10
Source: Carlos E. Díaz/Wikipedia

Empty Tear Gas Canisters ;Caracas, Venezuela, Apr 2014

Empty Tear Gas Canisters ;Caracas, Venezuela, Apr 2014

Taken on: 2014-04-20
Source: Carlos Diaz/Wikipedia

Anti-"Guarimbas" Graffiti; Venzuela, March, 2014

Anti-"Guarimbas" Graffiti; Venzuela, March, 2014

Taken on: 2014-03-24
Source: Jamez42/Wikipedia

Anti-Government Barricade;Venezuela, March 2014

Anti-Government Barricade;Venezuela, March 2014

Taken on: 2014-03-14
Source: Jamez42/Wikipedia

Venezuela: 'Why Protest?'

Venezuela: 'Why Protest?'

Taken on: 2014-03-12
Source: Daga95 / Flickr

Venezuela: Security Forces Teargas Protestors

Venezuela: Security Forces Teargas Protestors

Taken on: 2014-03-12
Source: Daga95/Flickr

Sign Bearing Anti-Maduro Protester; Caracas, Venezuala, March 2014

Sign Bearing Anti-Maduro Protester; Caracas, Venezuala, March 2014

Taken on: 2014-03-12
Source: Daga95/Wikimedia/Flickr

Venezuela: GNB Security Vehicles Deployed

Venezuela: GNB Security Vehicles Deployed

Taken on: 2014-03-08
Source: Wilfredor/Wikipedia

Venezuela: Maduro Posters Watch Protestors

Venezuela: Maduro Posters Watch Protestors

Taken on: 2014-03-04
Source: Pixza_ve/Flickr

Venezuela: Protesting Scarcity

Venezuela: Protesting Scarcity

Taken on: 2014-02-18
Source: María Alejandra Mora (SoyMAM)/Wikipedia

Venezuela: 'Bullets Not in Shortage'

Venezuela: 'Bullets Not in Shortage'

Taken on: 2014-02-18
Source: Jamez42/Wikipedia

Venezuela: Protest March, Maracaibo

Venezuela: Protest March, Maracaibo

Taken on: 2014-02-18
Source: María Alejandra Mora (SoyMAM)/Wikipedia

Venezuela: Protesting 'Angel of Peace'

Venezuela: Protesting 'Angel of Peace'

Taken on: 2014-02-18
Source: Jamez42/Wikipedia

Peaceful March at the Palace of Justice;Maracaibo, Venezuela, Feb 2014

Peaceful March at the Palace of Justice;Maracaibo, Venezuela, Feb 2014

Taken on: 2014-02-18
Source: María Alejandra Mora (SoyMAM)/Wikipedia

Painted Anti-Maduro Protester Holding Sign; Venezuala, February 2014

Painted Anti-Maduro Protester Holding Sign; Venezuala, February 2014

Taken on: 2014-02-18
Source: Zfigueroa/Wikipedia

Venezuela: Tear Gas Volley

Venezuela: Tear Gas Volley

Taken on: 2014-02-15
Source: Andrés E. Azpúrua/Wikipedia

Venezuela - Protesters in Downtown Venezuela

Venezuela - Protesters in Downtown Venezuela

Taken on: 2014-02-12
Source: durdaneta/Flickr