Pressuring Venezuela’s Leader to Back Down

In Venezuela On

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela has sought in recent days to cow crowds of protesters with barrages of rubber bullets and tear gas canisters tossed by ground forces and from helicopters. The government has deployed violence-prone plainclothes militias to discourage more demonstrators from pouring onto the streets. It has ratcheted up pressure on opponents by disqualifying a prominent leader from running for office and by detaining other critics. It has moved to censor the press by blocking access to digital news outlets, by barring foreign journalists from entering the country and by assaulting Venezuelan reporters.

Even as the latest wave of street protests has turned fatal, with at least five deaths reported in recent days, Venezuelans show no sign of letting up the pressure on Mr. Maduro’s authoritarian government. In a striking sign of dissent, demonstrators on Tuesday pelted Mr. Maduro with eggs and stones while he rode in a jeep in a military parade in the eastern state of Bolívar, where his party has traditionally enjoyed strong support. A coalition of opposition factions is calling for a huge march next Wednesday.

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