It took a long, long time and a hell of a lot of very real suffering for them to get to this point.
CARACAS (Reuters) – In a curious convergence of events on the same day last week, four Venezuelan provincial courts issued identical rulings, state governors quickly hit Twitter to celebrate, then the election board emailed a short but bombshell statement.
Opposition hopes for a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro were dashed, on grounds of fraud in an initial signature drive. The vote was off.
For many in the opposition, that settled a years-old debate about the nature of Venezuela’s socialist government, uniting them in conviction they are now fighting a dictatorship.
Food shortages, long shopping lines and runaway prices have eroded the ruling “Chavismo” movement’s popularity among the poor and seen Maduro’s ratings slide to just over 20 percent.