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Venezuelan Political Turmoil Reverberates Worldwide, Including In San Antonio

Voice of America
Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/2tX0x9X
Millions of Venezuelans marching on 20 May 2017 during the We Are Millions march.

Tensions continue to escalate in Venezuela after results from what many are calling a "sham" election granted a new legislative body the power to rewrite the Constitution.

The move is widely seen as a turning point for the oil-rich Latin American country – away from democracy, toward dictatorship.  

President Nicolás Maduro refused the results of an nonbinding referendum in mid-July opposing his National Constituent Assembly. More than 1,000 Venezuelans in the San Antonio area turned out to show solidarity by casting votes in this symbolic referendum.

Critics say inflated turnout numbers for this weekend's vote – three times more than the unofficial referendum two weeks earlier – amount to "electoral fraud."

In response, the United States announced financial sanctions against Maduro's government on Monday. Two prominent leaders of the opposition were allegedly taken from their homes by Venezuelan intelligence officials and jailed on Tuesday.

Violence between protesters and police continues to escalate. The Venezuelan attorney general's office estimates that more than 125 people have been killed since clashes began in April and at least 16 are dead since Sunday.

How are Venezuelan expatriates living in San Antonio affected by this political turmoil? What's next for the embattled country and what are the potential implications for Latin America? 


Visit avsatx.com for information about donations. Tickets for the Venezuelan Association of San Antonio's "Fiesta Bailable" can be found here.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.