Protesters take to the streets as tension mounts in Venezuela

Hot Air has been covering events in Venezuela quite a bit recently because it seems as if a long simmering tension could reach a boiling point at any moment. From USAToday:

“We have no food. They are cutting power four hours a day. Crime is soaring. And (President Nicolás) Maduro blames everyone but himself for the mess we find ourselves in,” said Sanchez, 36. “We can’t go on like this forever. Something has to give.”

[…]

The unrest mounts as the country faces continuing shortages of essential food, medicine and toiletries. All the bakeries here in La Victoria, 55 miles southwest of Caracas, stopped producing bread last week because there is no flour.

“People are hunting dogs and cats in the streets, and pigeons in the plazas to eat,” Ramon Muchacho, mayor of the Caracas district of Chacao, said this month in a tweet that was reported in many newspapers.

This AFP video published today shows people who waited as long as 4 hours for the chance to buy a single bag of bread:

For the third time this week, protesters took to the streets demanding the government allow a referendum that could remove the unpopular President Maduro from power. The socialist government is stalling the measure because if the vote does not happen this year then under Venezuelan law Maduro’s Vice President would serve out the rest of his term. But the protesters are sick and tired of Chavismo.

Reuters published video showing protesters facing off against riot police who were creating cordons in the street. One protester speaks into the camera saying, “We’re tired of the corruption. We’re tired of the queues. We’re tired that every day they smack us in the face with this supposed economic war.” He added, “That doesn’t exist, Maduro. The economic war is your war against us.”

Last week unnamed U.S. intelligence officials expressed concern that the crisis is heading toward a coup or, alternatively, a brutal government crackdown on dissent.