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An anti-government demonstrator wearing a Russian military hat protests the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 6, 2017 (AP photo by Wil Riera).

Has Venezuela’s Opposition Lost Sight of What It Is Fighting For?

Monday, Aug. 28, 2017

The United States issued a new batch of sanctions against Venezuela last Friday, targeting high-ranking members of President Nicolas Maduro’s regime and setting up a “financial blockade” against the state-owned institutions that fund them. Cutting off Maduro’s revenue may be the key to his ouster, U.S. officials have said, but restoring democracy in Venezuela after he’s gone looks to be a more complex, internal issue.

Much of the pressure on Maduro still originates inside Venezuela, from politicians at all levels of government who oppose his dictatorship and hope to one day regain control of the country’s political future. The opposition coalition known as the Democratic Unity Roundtable, or the MUD by its Spanish acronym, has been hard at work since 2008 trying to prevent or at least slow the erosion of Venezuela’s democratic institutions under the self-described socialist revolution of Maduro and his mentor, former President Hugo Chavez. ...

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