University of California, Los Angeles

“Democratic Erosion in Venezuela” by Audrey Rogers @ The University of California, Los Angeles

Democracy in South and Latin America has been eroding over the past couple of decades.  Particularly, Venezuela has become more obvious about their active erosion of their democratic state.  Maduro has been holding elections that have resulted in a more concentrated executive power, a weaker checks and balances system, and less pronounced civil rights for the citizens of Venezuela.  Because there has been no direct threat against democracy within the state and the erosion has been taking place over time, there is no motive for the international community to step in and help the citizens that may be unaware of the democratic erosion.  In the domestic realm, groups that oppose the president’s policies have a difficult platform to mend the situation.  Since those in power keep a façade that supports democracy, the presidents that are willing to undermine democracies are much harder to prove and thus take action against the president, as well as convince citizens to oppose the government in charge.

In the current state of affairs, it appears that the opposition as well as the government are unwilling to back down.  This is apparent in Maduro’s violent responses to repress peaceful demonstrations that the opposition uses in order to get their point across to the government and the world.  These protests are a beneficial tool that the opposition may use since the government’s violent response only furthers the fact that they are moving further and further from a democratic state.  These protests may increase the pressure against those in charge and perhaps force Maduro to make concessions to the citizens of Venezuela.  http://theconversation.com/venezuela-has-lost-its-democratic-facade-75951

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