Venezuela’s opposition alliance is pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to dislodge President Nicolas Maduro.
This strategy involves street protests, a referendum or, alternatively, an amendment to the constitution that would cut short the president’s term.
Hoping to capitalise on anger over a deep recession, triple-digit inflation and soaring crime, Maduro’s critics have set themselves a timeframe of six months to achieve their goal. They evidently hope to build on the opposition bloc’s landslide victory in December’s general election, when it won nearly two-thirds of seats in parliament.
Some constitutional experts argue that a constitutional amendment to shorten the presidential term would only be applicable to presidents elected in the future, and that Maduro would finish his six-year term anyway.
Similarly, a recall referendum would face an extended series of legal steps that might or might not culminate in the president leaving office.
So will the opposition’s plan work? And how is the dire economic crisis contributing to instability in Venezuela?
Presenter: Laura Kyle
Phil Gunson: Senior analyst, International Crisis Group
Sonia Schott: Journalist and political analyst
Daniel Fermin: Researcher, Center of Political Studies, Andreas Bello Catholic University