(Image from The Guardian)
Leopoldo Lopez has handed himself in.
All over Caracas, there is an energy that is pumping through the city center like an aorta pumps blood into a living heart. Life is finally emerging from a country that appeared to be in a zombie-like state, held captive under the whims and charms of what Hugo Chavez had placed it under.
The charm has worn off and the people are awake – and angry. Years of inflation and reliance on a dual economy have finally pushed Venezuelans to the brink of their newfound madness. Years of having to scowl various corners of the city, without exaggeration, just to simply buy toilet paper at over the top prices have finally driven them to the edge.
Years of dealing with escalating violence have made them scream for help and the years of government inconveniences has reminded them that they can no longer handle it.
The country is on the verge of a mass revolution, demanding change once and for all. Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chavez’ replacement, points fingers at the United States – his predecessor’s favorite scapegoat – for the imbalance and chaos in the country. He even went as far as expelling three US consulates in retaliation.
But Maduro can’t fool the Venezuelan people any longer. Leopoldo Lopez, a Harvard educated anti-government politician, rallies the people behind the banner “#lasalida” – the exit – in efforts to finally put Maduro to the corner for his incompetence.
It’s a call for Venezuela to change its government and rid itself of the Chavez legacy. Storming twitter and social media, hundreds of Venezuelans are using this hash tag to bring a global call for change in the country.
But what will result in all of this?
Leopoldo Lopez has now turned himself in as a sign of fearlessness before the government. Already, three youths have been killed in the clash against pro-government police forces.
Are we on the verge of a civil war? A revolution? Or just a large protest, which is likely to be quelled?
Venezuela is on fire and while some fires can be put out with water, this one will rage on even if it rains.
(Image from The New York Times)