Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Venezuela After the Constituent Assembly, by Michael Shifter and Ben Raderstorf

Venezuela’s democracy has crumbled. Over the past several years, the country’s separation of powers, freedoms of speech, and press, and rule of law have been on life support—enshrined in the constitution, but often disregarded in practice. Until recently, the political breakdown had been mostly incremental. But on July 30, President Nicolás Maduro followed through on his threat to organize a National Constituent Assembly to rewrite the Venezuelan constitution. The constituyente, as it is known, could set the stage for the Maduro government to totally and indefinitely consolidate its power, criminalize the opposition without limits, and usher in a new and even darker phase in Venezuela’s crisis.

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