Millions of Venezuelans participated in the recall rally in the streets of Caracas, and in other cities in Venezuela. The socialist government of Nicolas Maduro, the hand-picked successor of Hugo Chavez, has turned the country into a food deprived nation that is isolated from the rest of the world. Maduro has managed to turn the once oil-rich country into a disaster area where electricity is in short supply, and where the military controls the ports, according to José Manuel González.
González is familiar with the Chavez governing style, and as a deputy of the National Assembly from the state of Guárico, and a former chamber of commerce president, he watched Maduro enact policies that have destroyed the domestic food industry as well as other businesses. Millions of Venezuelans don’t have enough food to eat. Thousands of people cross the border into Colombia every day in order to find food. Medical supplies are in short supply, and the basic products needed for personal hygiene are unavailable. In short, the people of Venezuela are living like prisoners, according to González. Mr. Manuel has been trying to get the president to change some of his outdated policies for the last two years, but Maduro believes anything that resembles democracy is tyranny.
The democratic opposition wants to remove Maduro, and González feels that is the only solution. He wants to help the people, but the people must stand up and force Maduro to remove himself from office. The recent protest rally was the first massive demonstration that showed Maduro that his time in office is up. Millions of people lined the streets of Caracas, and other cities, carrying signs that called for Maduro to step down. The petition that has more than a million signatures is another attempt to get the dictator to listen to the people, but Maduro believes the petition is illegal, and the protest is a Yankee plot.
Some officials, like González, think that the protesters were greeted with tear gas and armed force by the military during the rally, but most of the foreign press that wanted to cover the protest were expelled from the country by Maduro before the rally started.