"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." – Noam Chomsky
By Manmeet Sahni
Part 3 - Constructed Reality
The most recent protests in Venezuela started in 2016, when the opposition-led National Assembly attempted to impeach Maduro before calling for a referendum.
Maduro's government has made frequent calls for dialogue with the opposition, which the opposition has repeatedly turned down. In 2016, the opposition-led National Assembly tried to impeach Maduro illegally – they had zero support from legislative bodies.
Then, in October of 2016, the opposition called for a coup against Maduro when the Supreme Court ruled to suspend the presidential recall referendum due to suspected electoral fraud in the first phase of the process. The opposition then launched a series of anti-government protests, further exacerbating the crisis.
Mike Prysner, a documentary filmmaker with teleSUR who reports from the ground in Caracas, told Renegade Inc about the protests: "What happens is that the 'guarimbas' (armed opposition groups) follow the peaceful protests and when they come near police, they insert themselves in between the two.
"They then push and push and push until there's a reaction – and they have cameras and journalists on hand to record the reaction, so it looks like the police are being aggressive.
"We were once filming a protest and a group of guarimbas challenged us. If we'd said we were with teleSUR, at the very least they would have beaten us and taken our equipment, but we told them we were American freelance journalists. They need Americans to film them and publicise them, so we were accepted."