Venezuelan streets went from peaceful last week to violent protests today when civilians began to denounce President Maduro for high rates of inflation, crime, and production shortages, according to a report from Reuters.
President Maduro has issued an arrest warrant for Leopoldo Lopez, the U.S. educated opposition leader, because, according to Venezuelan authorities, Lopez participated in murder and terrorism that led to the deaths in the street protests. Lopez blames armed government supporters for firing on peaceful protesters.
Maduro was a union activist and bus driver before he was elected President, his platform was based on surviving Hugo Chavez’s socialist policies. His economic policies have resulted in instability and inefficiency, with shortages in goods and high inflation.
Venezuelan bonds have recently obtained “junk” status, indicating high probability of default. This also points to the governments difficulty in financing and maintaining their functionality.
News sources (listed below) confirmed that the protests are mainly anti-government. Maduro responded to protests by banning them.