We Witnessed The Riots & Chaos During Venezuela's Elections | VICE on HBO

four out of the seven days of the week there is no fear anymore this is a citizen's revolution you can feel it on the street since the anti-government uprisings exploded this past spring Venezuelans have been demonstrating in the streets for over a hundred days more than 100 and killed thousands more injured their city marbles and the kids then and the more the protesters defy the authorities the more aggressive the police get trying to break them [Applause] chaos all day we're just trying to leave it now we're box that I got travel and lost my shoes so now strolling around others wailing my thoughts Venezuela is on the brink of becoming a failed state the economy has been destroyed by hyperinflation in the last 12 months alone the inflation rate rose over a thousand percent and it's projected by the IMF to rise more than 2,000 percent in 2018 as Venezuela's currency has cratered and value the cost of importing the most basic goods has soared making food and other essentials both scarce and unaffordable ordinary people are really suffering and they're fighting back a veteran journalist bill Gunson who's been covering the region for almost 40 years has witnessed firsthand the events that has brought Venezuela to the brink what caused the current situation with chaos reigning in the streets now that the economy has collapsed the issue on the streets is not an issue of ideology it's not people out on the streets saying we want capitalism instead of socialism it's people out on the streets say we want to eat college the communal pero this food shortage is widespread over the last year three-quarters of the population has lost an average of almost 20 pounds a year are you in for me maybe pump away from each other career lariat a my Udo people are genuinely dying of hunger in some cases 12% of children are suffering from acute malnutrition in Venezuela this is the country with the biggest oil reserves in the world it's absolutely unforgivable oil is the foundation the Venezuelan economy accounting for half of the government's revenue so the nation's economy and fortunes rise and fall with the price of crude oil on international markets Venezuela is well over 90 percent dependent on on oil income for its foreign earnings the society has come to rely on this economic cycle of boom and bust that's inherent you know and it's created a society in which there's very little planning for the future corruption is kind of at least to a large extent tolerated by the late 1970s oil admit Venezuela the richest country in South America but over the coming decades persistent corruption funneled the nation's wealth into the hands of the elite the result was profound income inequality that set the stage for a socialist revolution led by Hugo Chavez Chavez was a larger-than-life figure messianic a figure who was loved not just as a politician revered as a saint Chavez made government a spectacle a fairy castle being a cappella every Sunday he staged marathon TV broadcasts that sometimes ran up to eight hours on his show although Presidente on top of announcing government business such as nationalizing agriculture in telecom industries the show featured special guests dance numbers in prize giveaways pantalla the Ventana so home consist of Ontario al capitalist book a while he was giving away appliances the economy and specifically the oil industry was crumbling the problem is that the economic underpinnings of what he was about we're not really viable the legacy of Chavez's disastrous economic strategy is the heart of today's crisis we flew to Lake Maracaibo epicenter of the country's boom and bust economy this is one of the largest oil basins in the world over 30 billion barrels of oil have been pulled out of this lake and the estimates rates that there are still somewhere between 19 and another 40 billion barrels of oil still left out there Ulysses albornoz worked for the state-run oil company petroleum of Venezuela or paid a visa and experienced the effect of Chavez's policies first had Chavez in quality sides panelists one of Chavez's first moved to change the oil industry was replacing the pay Davis a Board of Directors with political allies much of the pitov is a work force was outraged and took to the streets in response Chavez fired seven of the company's top executives live on TV on Delos against a person say North Juan Fernandez esta despedido de petróleos de Venezuela Eddie Ramirez Mucha Gracia a tout a day pedido in the end Chavez fell eighteen thousand pay the visa employees and replaced them with more politically loyal workers who knew next to nothing about oil production so basically Chavez fired half of the almost half of the 40,000 employees of the state oil company 580 Hey and you were one of them yes I was one now 120,000 people Chinese down with three times the quantity of people yeah will produce one-third of the oil in addition to the incompetence of the Chavez loyalists who run paid a visa corruption has been a major factor in the decline of the oil industry billions have been stolen in recent years creating a new and very rich socialist elite with oil production at all-time lows Venezuela's economy is now much more vulnerable to the ups and downs of the global market Venezuela is acutely vulnerable to a fall in the price of oil which as we know tends to be psychical and it tends to be severe when it happens in essentially what then as well as living on now is less than half of the oil price that he had a few years back the oil money ran out more or less at the same time as Chavez died so simultaneously they lost a large amount of income plus the guy that held the whole thing together and it's been downhill ever since a month after Chavez's death in 2013 a bitterly divided nation went to the polls vice president Nicolas Maduro a former bus driver narrowly won the presidential election rubber opposition leader Henrique Capriles since then Maduro has stuck with many of Chavez's policies and for the most part has ruled by decree meanwhile the economy hunger narco trafficking and violent crime have continued to spiral out of control in the opposition to his government intensified by December of 2015 Venezuelans had voted to give control of Venezuela's Congress National Assembly to the opposition parties in response Maduro called a special election to create a Constituent Assembly a unique institution with the power to change the nation's Constitution many believe we will use this governmental body to consolidate his power it is this move the DES sparked the intensified protests the past three months Maduro sources have responded with mass arrests in violence and also frequently targeted elected officials from the opposition including kapila's his presidential opponent in 2013 with 49% of the vote lost by less than two percentage points we're outside the justice first office the head of the party Enrique kapila's just got beat down by the national guard here and was still tear gas and clashing going on they're about to do press conference the governor how are you hola nice to meet you what you guys do imagine a u.s. Marine Governor of New York yeah shocking easy it's a shock it is incredible it's module of orders my big ass after this violence what's gonna happen tomorrow my general wave of otra vez y una residencia Bubo que sera Londo you pi x en la calle it cylinder a patrol a constitution pero en la da mucho some of consciente this in the two months after we filmed and as the daily news arose Constituent Assembly approached the crisis has escalated On June 27th a police officer hijacked a helicopter and attacked the maduro controlled Supreme Court may ensue gunfire only days later in the dural loyalists stormed the National Assembly attacking security guards journalists in the lawmakers themselves on July 16 in a show of mass defiance more than 7 million Venezuelans voted to recall Maduro in the symbolic nationwide referendum and the eve of this historic vote that looked set to transform Venezuela Vice went back to Caracas with bananers this is the National Assembly in as well as Congress four weeks after Maduro loyalists attack at the politicians for congressman Amanda Armas was one of the lawmakers badly beaten that day that's definitely my blood it was my hair's my home and the risk of physical danger continues first vice president of the National Assembly Freddy Guevara showed us the death threats he's been receiving on a daily basis save your money for you pay the funeral of every member of your family this is not normal business for a politician and there will be a big protest this afternoon I'm sure that the protest will increase we are not going to step down several groups across the city to make it harder for National Guard to break them up protests have been outlawed with tough sentences for those who disobeyed under the National Guard on motorbikes the National Guard maintained rigid control of the Caracas streets we caught up with Freddy Guevara again who said that the upcoming vote was just rubber stamping the Doros drive towards authoritarian rule do you think it's a dictatorship now do you think it will become one on Sunday 109 people shot and dead in the protest we have congressman sagale majors in Yale nor freedom of speech or popular dictatorship while we may have after Sunday will be maybe will be a more intense phase of the detention for details you think he might all be in jail on Monday yes of course they have both the president today yesterday and three days ago president rather me he says that I have a jail with my name on it president Maduro called this election to create a Constituent Assembly a 545 seat governmental body that can override and likely replace the elected Congress it would also have the power to rewrite the country's constitution and extend medoras reign if that weren't enough the majority of candidates were hand-picked supporters of Maduro including his wife and son and there was no option to oppose the move with no possible way to vote against the government's proposed action the opposition boycotted the election hoping a low turnout at many polling places were exposed a vote as a sham instead that people again gathered on the street in the only way they could to make their voices heard Yoshioka place under pass away in Sierra Leone Calvo monokuma Rousillon events are a hotel but just as demonstrations began to form the National Guard followed through and threats to crush any dissent by midday opposition leaders were regrouping trying to decide what to do next Oh to see a Fiat and Venezuela we don't have it so publicly gasps Oh Cassie open already maybe a flower [Applause] one motorcycle unit of the National Guard was attacked with a homemade petrol okay kidding hey you think my people and for their volcano plane they had it for it focus on four root two condyles ronan he any rule of any good now another see intense clashes across the country made this day the most violence since the crisis began by the time the results were announced sixteen people had been killed and dozens more injured but Maduro had succeeded in creating his Constituent Assembly mañana no sekai de pasar no security woodville as well but the opposition headquarters governor Henrique Capriles Fedora's presidential rival made a statement to the local press seniority Rita will do and it salado's resume esta palabra I'm stayin here el precio innuendos otro top of likto para la familia Yamaha which are parking in taipei i aterna villa de aya cambio aya democracia que la verne Salado para salir del greco totally do a super are la Paix or Chrissy a dormitory Tony I'm sure you know where the final result will be what will be your response I'll go via the rocky rocky voltaren Emiliano perro Diego momento que la verdad es imposible de occult are las salinas lo central o el mundo [Applause] [Applause] that night he headed over to Bolivar Plaza in the city center and the Douro supporters have gathered [Applause] [Applause] we'll only a Venezuela the name of assembly equality to you [Applause] [Applause] tell me Zelda Sonya Oh silly a national constituent 11 Serena it was predictable that the United States would cast doubt on this vote much harder review was a claim from the london-based technology firm that supplied the voting machines used for this election they turnout numbers on Sunday 30th of July for the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela were tamper with the difference between the actual participation and the one announced by the authorities is at least 1 million votes an independent exit poll suggested the actual Turner was even lower with just over three and a half million people voting less than 20% of Venezuela's 19 point 8 million eligible voters the Congress met in a last-ditch effort to stop what looked to be inevitable people Venezuela to come and defend this National Assembly the United States imposed additional sanctions aimed directly at Maduro himself Maduro is not just a bad leader he is now a dictator Maduro immediately played the part of a typical dictator snatching to leading opposition figures Leopoldo Lopez a leader of the popular will party and Antonio Ledezma the former mayor of Caracas from their homes the following night the socialist revolutionaries who once overthrew and unpopular and corrupt elite have become one even parts of the military began to defect one of Latin America's most important nation has been control of the world's largest oil reserves has become a dictatorship [Applause] but Wilma Doros diehard supporter celebrate the growing opposition has vowed to continue to fight

Maurice Vega

43 Responses

  1. “The issue on the streets is not an issue of ideology, it’s not people out on the street saying ‘we want capitalism instead of socialism,‘” veteran journalist Phil Gunson told VICE News. “It’s people out in the streets saying ‘we can’t eat.’”

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  2. Forget about the politics of this for a moment and consider that these people are STARVING..so in essence when the food is so scarce and highly valuable..it’s going to make any citizen fight for their families and the military is fighting to the death as well because they are starving as well..it’s fucked hungry chaos

  3. How many millions of dollars are in Chavez’s daughters bank account? How many millions does Madura have?

  4. This is still going on one year after this video came out. God be with the citizens of Venezuela.

  5. The opposition caused the inflation and the Riots – Madura is not Dictator – he's the President of Venezuela elected by the people in a Democratic process – most informed Americans don't know that fact –


  7. Poor Americans they need help try getting fishing rods and seeds you can cultivate good food my family lives from fishing and what we get from the ground that we work with our hands

  8. But yet you support Bernie Sanders and his policies, the same policies Venezuela enforces that Sean Penn and Bernie Sanders support.

  9. Anyone else think Maduro looks like a Hispanic Joseph Stalin? I also now understand why the left likes the current regime, he hates Trump.


  11. Wait vice who are you owned by that’s right America government, do some real journalists work not what your sponsors want, I use to love vice,until you got bought out by the big American company money oil and power

  12. Socialism doesn't score too high historically for stability or long lived economic growth especially in this part of the Americas. But remember, we had four years of this here (Shay's Rebellion against taxes and the so called Whiskey Rebellion-1787 and 1791-4 respectively). This could happen here and already is in France. Don't pat yourself on the ass because they told you in grade and high
    school that this country is a 'democracy'. What they didn't teach you was that the term is not to be found in the constitution of this country and that the convention for it was boycotted on the basis that it was an "illegal document". You really could have found that out for yourself really. And who were the trouble makers who cooked up that boycott left out of our history books? To name a few, how about Patrick Henry, Ethan Allen, and that real crazy one who had only five people show up for his funeral and only one cemetery agree to accept his dead body for burial, Thomas (pain in the ass) Paine! He was the one who flew off the handle and said he smelled a RAT in the American constitutional convention and would go nowhere near it!

    Truth is stranger than fiction and until the masses are educated to be affluent enough to creatively chart their own destiny you will see this whenever there is a change of public mood (often unconscious according to 'Socionomic' Theory).

    Enjoy the fireworks for it damned well may be a real movie for us playing at a local movie house (theater) near you and they won't be able to leave that out of the history books so that no one living
    afterwards won't know what REALLY happened!

  13. NO MORE WAR- VOTE FOR TULSI – Do not trust rig polls- Let create our own honnest polls by liking Tulsi on facebook and twitter and sharing with friends and family on social media.let spread the good news

  14. LIARS! the US has starved the country in the hope of them rising up against their leader, but the Venezuelan people know it's the US doing it. Good on Chavez and Maduro for educating the people on politics! #YankeesGoHome


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