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Take Back Venezuela With Votes, Not Violence

A Better Strategy for Countering Maduro

A woman cries during a rally where opposition supporters pay tribute to victims of violence in protests against Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, July 2017.  Ueslei Marcelino / REUTERS

On August 4, two drones exploded in midair during a speech by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, in what the government alleges was a foiled assassination attempt. Although most opposition forces disavowed the attack, the government used it as an excuse to further clamp down on dissent, ordering 34 arrests, including that of Juan Requesens, a member of Congress. Disturbing videos circulated last week suggest that the government forcibly drugged and humiliated the lawmaker to try to get him to confess to participating in the plot.

To many, Maduro’s assault on democratic freedoms and systematic violation of human rights mean that there is no choice but to use force to try to drive him from power. But violent confrontation between the opposition and a government that is more than willing to abuse its monopoly on force is exactly what Maduro wants.

Instead, Venezuela’s democratic opposition should resist Maduro

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