Nicolas Maduro holds tightly on to the reins of power in Venezuela. The president, an outspoken critic of US policies and of Donald Trump, recently had the nation’s chief prosecutor removed from office, according to the Washington Post. The decision to remove Luisa Ortega Diaz from her post comes amidst growing unrest in Venezuela.
Maduro, the successor to Hugo Chavez, has held onto his power despite objections from opposition leaders and from foreign leaders. Members of his own supported until he attempted to rewrite the country’s constitution with a series of sweeping reforms. Members of his own party called his attempt to rewrite the country’s constitution a power grab.
Chavez, his predecessor, won the popular vote in a series of repeated election. In one election, Chavez received 63 percent of the popular vote. His reforms targeted the country’s elite and provided massive social programs. He funded these programs by using the money from the country’s oil supply. The programs worked well until the international price of oil fell. When the oil prices fell, the country found its debts massing and necessary items such as food faced extreme shortages.
The problem continues under Maduro, and the opposition forces grow more violent. Government forces clash with protesters every day in the streets of the capital. Government forces frequently target leaders of the opposition forces for arrest.
Maduro has sought to silent any voices critical of him since he came into power. The Venezuelan president replaced the country’s legislature last year with a different body. International bodies called the move as a power grab and they accuse the body of merely passing whatever legislation the current president favors.
Disagreeing with the president has very real consequences in Venezuela, as the country’s chief prosecutor learned when government forces raided her office and prevented public access. Maduro named a new prosecutor he chose to replace her.