Venezuela

Post-Chavez Venezuela: A Political House Of Mirrors

Mar 3, 2014
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Steve Scher talks with Jose Antonio Lucero, chair of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Washington, about the protests in Venezuela.

The escalating political crisis in Venezuela has set off alarms in Washington. But there's little the U.S. has been able to do, aside from criticize the jailing of opposition figures or the rising death toll as protesters continue to take to the streets, blaming the government for high inflation and crime.

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has threatened to expel news network CNN from the country over its reporting of recent protests there.

Maduro said he would take action if CNN did not "rectify its coverage."

There's a sad symmetry to the news from Venezuela, where anti-government protests in recent weeks have been fueled in part by outrage over the shooting death of a beauty queen — a death that underscored that nation's struggle to control violent crime.

One of the five people killed this week during protests against the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro, it's now being reported, was another young beauty queen.

A fiery leftist, Hugo Chavez was a steadfast ally of dictators like Cuba's Fidel Castro while loudly opposing the United States. He claimed capitalism was destroying the world and tried to transform Venezuela into a socialist state. Millions of Venezuelans loved him because he showered the poor with social programs.