Inside Story: Ousting Nicolás Maduro

Venezuela is unravelling as shortages of almost everything push people to their limits.

Almost 90 percent of Venezuelans say they don’t have money to buy enough food and many are forced to make do with a single meal a day.

Riots and mass lootings are on the rise and calls for President Nicolas Maduro to resign are growing louder.

The opposition has begun checking signatures on a petition to start a recall referendum against him.

It needs to validate 200,000 signatures or 1 percent of the electorate, to kickstart the process to recall Maduro.

After that, 20 percent of voters or around four million people, will need to sign a second petition to trigger the referendum.

For it to be successful, an equal or greater number of voters that those who elected the President, will need to vote in favour of a recall.

That means more than the roughly 7.5 million votes Maduro received in 2013.

But is the opposition a credible alternative to socialist rule? And how is the unrest in Venezuela being viewed regionally?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida


Daniel Fermin – Researcher for the Center of Political Studies at the Andreas Bello Catholic University.

Michael McCarthy – Research Fellow at the American University’s Center for Latin American Studies.

Vanessa Neumann – Founder and Chief Executive of the trade integrity consultancy firm, Asymmetrica.

Entrevista en el programa Inside Story de Al Jazeera, el 21 de junio de 2016

Inside Story – Can Venezuela’s opposition oust President Maduro? (Video)

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

Entrevista para el programa Inside Story de la cadena Al Jazeera el 15 de marzo de 2016.