Venezuela’s political crisis will again reach fever pitch on Monday when both government and opposition groups stage major demonstrations to commemorate International Labour Day. Sporadic violence and some loss of life is expected.
President Maduro’s socialist government stands accused of perpetuating Venezuela’s devastating economic crisis – the economy is expected to enter its fourth year of recession in 2017. Diosdado Cabello, a Maduro loyalist and former parliamentary speaker, says Monday’s pro-government rally will be “the largest in the history of this country”.
But the tide appears to be shifting as the poor, which traditionally have been core supporters of the government, begin to join opposition rallies. They do so at great personal risk – pro-government groups have threatened to deny food rations to any who fail to toe the party line.