Civil Society in Venezuela Under Maduro’s Government

Feb. 11, 2019 Weekly Graphs

Venezuela is continuing to suffer from profound political turmoil. President Nicolás Maduro has been in power since 2013 succeeding former president Hugo Chávez via a special election after Chavez’s death. Since 2014, there have been regular protests by anti-government protestors demanding the government reform or step aside, and counter-protests by forces in support of Maduro’s government. These protests have resulted in confrontations and violence, as well as significant number of arrests and prosecutions. Recently, Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader and President of the National Assembly, proclaimed himself interim president, urging people to protest on the streets to pressure Maduro to step down.   

By using our Country Radar Chart tool, we can observe changes in several indicators concerning Venezuelan civil society and democracy between 2013 and 2017. The civil society organization (CSO) anti-system movements indicator measures the existence of opposition movements and the level of possible threats it represents to the regime, while CSO repression refers to attempts to repressive actions from the government—with higher numbers indicating less repression. The political civil liberties index aims to measure the level of respect for political liberties, namely freedom of association and expression, scaled from low to high. As we can see, the chart shows the expansion of anti-system movements and a decrease in political liberties. Furthermore, the value of the repression indicator has also deteriorated, reflecting an increase in attempts by the government to repress CSOs in Venezuela. 

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