Maduro has enlisted the help of civilian militia groups to patrol the streets across the nation in response to a rallying cry from political rivals calling for mass protest against the President’s regime. In a national broadcast aired on Tuesday, the Venezuelan leader ordered the 3.2 million militia personnel to occupy the country’s streets, despite being sat between two high ranking officials from the Venezuelan army.Opposition leader Juan Guaido’s protests last weekend sparked fear from the administration in Caracas, but his message is starting to wear thin and his efforts to oust Maduro since January remain unsuccessful.
Mr Maduro’s fear will have also been provoked by the shock removal of Bolivia President Evo Morales on Sunday.
Mr Morales came out victorious in October’s elections in Bolivia, but only after inexplicably suspending vote counts for 24 hours before scraping the 10 percent lead he needed to cling on to power.
Accusations of electoral fraud intensified, eventually culminating in weeks of anti-government protests.
Following the demand from Bolivian army chiefs calling for Mr Morales to stand down, the embattled leader has resigned stating he is the victim of a coup.
Venezuela news: Maduro and Morales have both been embattled by political crises
Venezuela news: Morales arrived in Mexico today
The embattled former leader in La Paz has now sought asylum in Mexico, having arrived there today.
He stated upon his touchdown in Mexico City that he was forced to stand down but agreed to do so to ensure “there would be no more bloodshed”.
He also claimed a bounty of £38,000 has been placed on his life.
Mr Morales’ political demise signifies a frustration with authoritarian socialst governments in South America, with Bolivia’s government showing some similar traits.
Venezuela news: Madurohas enlisted the help of pro-regime militia
Mr Maduro was also accused of “illegitimate” electoral success, as many western countries including the US recognised Guaido as the President in Caracas in January.
The Venezuelan leader stated that the positions against him were the “result of imperialism perpetrated by the United States and allies” that put Venezuela “at the centre of a world war”.
One key difference between Bolivia and Venezuela is its current economic outlook, as Venezuela remains crippled by an economic crisis and hyperinflation, while in La Paz economic growth is occurring at a faster rate than any other Latin American country.
GDP forecasts via Focus Economics suggest the country’s GDP will grow by 3.7 percent in 2020.
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Venezuela news: Morales has been the subject of weeks of protests
Despite Bolivia’s trend-bucking success in South America, Mr Morales’ alleged corruption has proven to be his downfall, and could therefore signal a growing threat to the Maduro regime.
Both countries also benefit from strong relations with superpowers Russia and China with the former gaining increasing control in the Latin America region.
Despite sanctions and vocal opposition from the US and many other countries, Mr Maduro remains President largely thanks to loans from China and Russia who have proved important backers to the dictatorial regime in Caracas.
Russia has also taken full control of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA as battles for dominance of natural resources continue with the US.
Morales and Bolivia may be economically healthy as Venezuela collapses, but the dictatorial nature of their rule could see both fall in South America.
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