As Arrests Mount, Venezuela's Opposition Struggles To Find A Way Forward

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 9, 2017

Hackers in Venezuela attacked numerous government websites in protest of the "dictatorship" of President Nicolas Maduro.

The court told him to remove those barricades; Muchacho refused.

"We are being condemned for doing our job, for guaranteeing the legitimate right to peaceful protest and the right of all Venezuelans to exercise their civil and political rights", wrote Muchacho in an email message that he sends to subscribers each morning.

But Muchacho isn't the only opposition member to be punished by the Supreme Court recently.

The Supreme Court has issued injunctions against almost a dozen mayors of opposition municipalities ordering them to prevent protesters from setting up barricades and to remove them if they are put in place. That includes David Smolansky, mayor of nearby El Hatillo, who was also charged with failing to disperse protests in his municipality.

Mr Muchacho, who did not appear at the hearings and whose whereabouts are not known, responded on Twitter, saying "all the weight of revolutionary injustice has fallen on my shoulders".

Maduro has remained firm in pressing the constitutional assembly forward in executing his priorities.

Venezuela's new constitutional assembly took over the halls of the endangered, opposition-controlled congress Tuesday and decreed itself superior to all other branches of government while prominently displaying images of the late President Hugo Chavez.

A group called The Binary Guardians hacked into the websites of several public institutions in Venezuela.

The hacker attack comes amid continued unrest and uncertainty in Venezuela a day after attack by armed men on an army base in Valencia.

That is not to say the recent past has been free of conflict. The U.N. human rights commissioner report warned of "widespread and systematic use" of excessive force, arbitrary detention and other rights violations against demonstrators.

Chacao was previously governed by Leopoldo Lopez, the most prominent activist to have been jailed by the Maduro government, and is the main gathering point for protests that have left at least 124 dead and hundreds more injured or arrested.

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