World

Venezuela: The Awful Latest

In one of his strongholds, they were throwing eggs at Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela. Do you know how scarce eggs are now? And to use them to throw at the president?

The slums are turning against the rulers. And the slums have long been their biggest backers.

This is one thing that Hannah Dreier says in my latest Q&A podcast with her: here. She is the Associated Press correspondent in Caracas, and an exceptional, and exceptionally brave, reporter. In this podcast, she essentially gives us the latest.

And the latest is very bad. Though it may have seemed impossible, Venezuela is increasing in desperation, fear, and hunger.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters are in the streets. A few of them have been killed. Government supporters stormed a church — this is unusual. One of the leading opposition politicians was banned from running for office. Another sought refuge in a foreign embassy (Chile’s).

On paper, there is separation of powers in Venezuela. Yet the supreme court nullified the congress. Then Maduro told the supreme court to reinstate the congress.

As Dreier tells us, people are getting thinner and thinner. And thinner and thinner. They are wasting away. When you see someone you haven’t seen in a while, you look him up and down, to assess how he’s doing. It’s creepy. And harrowing.

People are leaving the country, if they can. It’s not easy. And grandmothers are in the streets, protesting. Protest is usually a game of the young. But the elderly are in the streets, because they can’t get enough food, either for themselves or their family.

We all have impressions and opinions — they’re a dime a dozen. Eyewitness reporting is much rarer. You can get it from Hannah Dreier. Again, that podcast is here.

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