Things That Matter

What You Need To Know About The Growing Turmoil In Venezuela That Has Left At Least 40 People Dead

Protesters have filled the streets in Venezuela amidst calls of a rigged election for President Nicolás Maduro. The socialist leader declared himself president on Wednesday despite overseeing one of the most devastating economic collapses. The leader of the opposition party, Juan Guaido, declared himself the interim president with the support of the Venezuelan people and the National Assembly prompting support from several governments around the world. The turn of events in Venezuela has many fearing violence and government opposition in what has already been tumultuous years in the South American country.

Venezuela is trying to cut off relations with the United States due to their support of Guaido.

Maduro’s government responded to the U.S. backing Guaido by saying he no longer recognizes diplomatic relations with the United States. He gave American diplomats 72 hours to leave Venezuela. While Guaido doesn’t plan on keeping the title of president indefinitely, he says he will call for new elections in the near future.

“Today, I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as the Interim President of Venezuela,” President Trump said in a statement. “In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolás Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant. The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law.”

Guaidó and other world leaders say the rigged vote means that he, as the President of the National Assembly (the country’s legislative body), is the true leader of the country. Guaidó started country-wide protests on last week to force President Maduro’s resignation showing the growing displeasure of his leadership.

Protesters took over city streets across Venezuela and some turned deadly.

There have been protests in support of Guaidó and even some for Maduro across cities in Venezuela. According to the CNN, 40 people have been killed in the civil unrest as military officials have used violent force against protesters. The protests began coinciding with the anniversary of the 1958 coup that overthrew military dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez, a historic date for Venezuelans.

The growing unrest in Venezuela is due to years of economic mismanagement, repression and corruption cases that have plagued the country. These conditions have led to millions of people being driven out of the country amid inflation and severe shortages of basic items like food and medicine.

While Guaidó has the support of many Venezuelans, experts say it’s unlikely he will succeed.

While Guaidó is the leader of the National Assembly, President Maduro still controls many of the country’s most powerful institutions, particularly the military. It will mostly take outside interference to be able to take down Maduro’s regime.

This is where things can get ugly as the U.S. might be that force that will have to get involved if things don’t improve rapidly in Venezuela. Venezuela’s military has pledged its support for Maduro showing that his downfall won’t be happening anytime soon.

“Anyone can declare himself president, but it’s the Venezuelan people who elect him, not the gringo government,” Maduro said to his supporters in a rally.

What’s next for Venezuela?

It’s hard to say what will happen next as Maduro still has so much power and is technically still the president of Venezuela. On Thursday, President Maduro ordered all of Venezuela’s diplomats in the U.S. to leave and said the country’s embassy and consulates in the U.S. will close as well.

By cutting off relations with the U.S., he is signaling to the world this will be the direction for the country moving forward. At the White House, Trump said “all options are on the table” should Maduro refuse to resign. One thing is clear from the growing turmoil, the people of Venezuela are being hurt the most in all of this.

“All of us want a change, a political change that helps us get over this terrifying crisis,” Adrian Cordero, a 32-year-old mechanic in Venezuela told the LA Times. “We’re hoping for a change that enables us to reunite with our family members who have left the country so as not to die of hunger. The country can’t tolerate this situation.”


READ: Peña Nieto Has Been Accused Of Taking A $100 Million Bribe From El Chapo Before Taking Office

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Micro TDH And Myke Towers’ “El Tren” Collab Is Bound To Be A Runaway Hit

Latidomusic

Micro TDH And Myke Towers’ “El Tren” Collab Is Bound To Be A Runaway Hit

Venezuelan singer-songwriter Micro TDH released his new single “El Tren.” Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers hitches a ride on their real-life train in the music video.

Micro TDH is one of Venezuela’s premier rapper-singers.

“El Tren” is Micro TDH’s second taste of new music this year. In February, he released the acoustic ballad “Ni Vivo Ni Muerto” with fellow Venezuelan artist Lasso. That music video has over 17 million views.

Though Micro TDH’s songs are very romantic right now, he started out as a rapper in Venezuelan’s Latin trap scene. He rose to prominence in the country with Big Soto, another local rapper-turned-singer. The two recently collaborated on the song “Lloro” on Big Soto’s The Good Trip album.

Micro TDH is breaking through globally thanks to his work with Karol G’s producer.

In 2018, Micro TDH became more of a global presence after signing with Big Ligas. The label is headed by Colombian producer Ovy on the Drums, who is most known for his hits with Karol G. Micro TDH’s first hit with Big Ligas was “Aqui Estoy,” which has over 26 million views on YouTube. He is a versatile artist who can rap and sing his heart out.

Micro TDH and Myke Towers send their exes packing with the most loving lyrics.

“El Tren” definitely goes down more of the románticas route. Micro TDH wrote the song with Myke Towers and Ovy on the Drums, who also produced it. Spanish guitar and reggaeton beats soundtrack Micro TDH and Towers’ sweet goodbye to their exes. Any chance for reconciliation has left with the last train out of town. Micro TDH and Towers come through with a dreamy kiss-off track.

Since working with Big Ligas, Micro TDH has released a string of hit singles. Towers recently dropped his new album Lyke Mike.

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Read: Venezuela’s Big Soto Breakout: Our 5 Favorite Songs on ‘The Good Trip’

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

Things That Matter

At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

A massive protest movement that swept across Colombia seems to have paid off – at least in the short term – as President Ivan Duque says that he will withdrawal the controversial tax plan that sent angry protesters into the streets. However, the protests claimed at least 17 victims who died during the unrest and hundreds more were injured.

Now that the president has withdrawn the controverial bill, many are wondering what’s next and will they have to take to the streets once again.

Massive protests claimed the lives of at least 17 people and hundreds more were injured across Colombia.

Unions and other groups kicked off marches on Wednesday to demand the government of President Ivan Duque withdraw a controversial tax plan that they say unfairly targets the most vulnerable Colombians.

Isolated vandalism, clashes between police and protesters and road blockades occurred in several cities on Saturday, and riot police were deployed in the capital.

Rights organization Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of possible police abuse in Cali, and local human rights groups alleged up to 17 deaths occurred.

After a week of protests, the government has shelved the controversial plan.

Faced with the unrest, the government of President Ivan Duque on Sunday ordered the proposal be withdrawn from Congress where it was being debated. In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organizations.

President Duque, in his statement, acknowledged “it is a moment for the protection of the most vulnerable, an invitation to build and not to hate and destroy”.

“It is a moment for all of us to work together without paltriness,” he added. “A path of consensus, of clear perceptions. And it gives us the opportunity to say clearly that there will be no increase in VAT for goods and services.”

The tax reform had been heavily criticized for punishing the middle classes at a time of economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The government introduced the bill on April 15 as a means of financing public spending. The aim was to generate $6.3 billion between 2022 and 2031 to reignite the fourth largest economy in Latin America.

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