Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center Intern Victor Salcedo writes for the Huffington Post on protests in Venezuela:
Andrés Bello, eighteenth century Venezuelan philosopher and Simón Bolívar’s teacher, said that “only the unity of the people and the solidarity of its leaders guarantee the greatness of nations.” This is a quote that should be remembered in today’s Venezuela, where the country is divided and on the slow, painful path of irreversible implosion without the implementation of a dramatic reversal in course. A country that used to be an example of democracy and leadership in South America has fallen far. As a Venezuelan living abroad, this process is more painful to watch from afar than to experience first-hand.
Last week marked a new, sad low for the country. Student-led protests in various cities erupted in violence and left three dead, more than seventy people injured, and approximately 200 people detained by police and military forces. Pictures and videos depicting clashes between students and the police are flooding social network sites, the international media, and the mind of every Venezuelan no matter which side they support. Nicolás Maduro’s government — and the opposition, too — shows no clear signs of an amicable end to this violence. A proper investigation into what happened during the protests and the causes for the three deaths will unlikely come to fruition. Whether toilet paper or dollars, answers are a rare elixir to the Venezuelan population these days.