The starving people of Venezuela should be given credit for at least attempting to oust their socialist dictator wearing the guise of an elected president, Nicolas Maduro. Through their elected officials, the citizens attempted to begin a recall election to remove him from office. Unfortunately, Maduro controls the Supreme Court and they simply cancelled the effort with little ceremony or explanation. Having lost that battle through the normal process, the legislature will move tomorrow to begin impeachment hearings designed to directly remove the President from office. Unfortunately, that effort is likely also doomed to failure before it even begins. (Telegraph)

Venezuela‘s opposition-led National Assembly has voted to begin impeachment proceedings against President Nicolas Maduro for violating democracy, on the eve of massive protests expected across the embattled nation.

Mr Maduro’s government has dismissed the move as meaningless, and in practice the step is likely to prove purely symbolic.

But it is yet another sign of the turmoil in Venezuela – a country with the world’s largest oil reserves, and yet a place where queues stretch for hours for basic foodstuffs, and animals in zoos are killed by hungry locals.

Venezuela is a totally different kettle of fish than Brazil, where they actually manged to impeach their president this year. Maduro has once again used the Supreme Court to his advantage, having them declare any and all actions by their congress to be “null and void” until it dismisses three politicians who have been accused of corruption and vote-buying. Not only will that be a time consuming process, but with this action as precedent, Maduro should have no problem getting the Supreme Court to invent all sorts of other reasons to invalidate the actions of the legislative body should this first line of defense fall through.

That leaves the people of Venezuela in a bit of a quagmire. They’ve lost control of two of their three branches of government and the third one has been effectively neutered. Maduro seems to be counting on riding out the hard times and assuming that conditions will return to the status quo once oil prices return to normal and he can get some food back in the markets. The sad part is that it actually might work. The only other option for the citizens at this point would appear to be an armed insurrection, but it’s questionable whether or not they would have the firepower to pull it off, and Maduro has his own party supporters scattered all over the country spying on their neighbors. He’s already locking up or simply “disappearing” troublemakers and that might be enough to dissuade the rest of the citizens from causing him additional problems.

Much like Turkey and a few other troubled spots around the globe, Venezuela appears to be falling from lukewarm socialism into outright tyranny. That’s the way these things tend to work and the people will be the ones to pay the price unless they can find a way to remove this tyrant before he gets too far out of control. Best of luck.

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