Prison Ranks Attest to Grip of Venezuelan Rule


Venezuela this week took its biggest plunge yet toward the one-man rule of Mr. Maduro as his loyalists on the Supreme Court gutted the country’s opposition-controlled legislature, seizing the powers of the only body seen as a counter to the president’s growing authority.

But the move was just part of a slide from democracy that has been gaining steady momentum in the country over the past year — seen starkly in prison cells where the ranks of political prisoners are growing. Those cells are filled with well-known opponents of Mr. Maduro, like a former mayor of a wealthy section of Caracas who was sentenced to more than 13 years on charges of inciting violence; academics who have spoken out; and journalists like Mr. Jatar, whose family says he was simply doing his job when he was detained in September.

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Venezuela’s Descent Into Dictatorship

Failure to take meaningful action toward compromise will only deepen the misery of Venezuelans, fuel an even larger exodus of people leaving the country and raise the likelihood that what is now a senseless political dispute will end in violence.

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