Violent protests in Venezuela have led to at least one hundred arrests, as well as three deaths.
According to the BBC, the anti-government protests began as a response to the nation’s high crime rate, inflation, and shortages of basic necessities across the country. Bloomberg reports that Maduro has blamed the shortages and tanking economy on Venezuela’s “parasitic bourgeoisie” and and profit-hungry corrupt businessmen .
After protests resulted in three deaths on Wednesday, Feb. 12, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro outlawed street protests, accusing opposition activists of attempting to execute a coup against him. “They’re trying to provoke a coup. I alert the people of Latin America and the Caribbean. The revolution will triumph,” said the president. “I’m not going to allow anyone to go out and march Thursday or Friday.”
An arrest warrant has been issued for the opposition leader, Voluntad Popular politician Leopoldo Lopez. He is accused of inciting the violence that led to the three deaths on Feb. 12; Lopez and his supporters say that pro-government forces are responsible for the deaths. Lopez has announced that he will turn himself in as part of a peaceful march on the offices of the Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
CNN reported today that Maduro has expelled three U.S. consular officials from the country, accusing them of conspiring against his government. Three U.S. consular officials have been expelled from the country by president Nicolas Maduro.