Venezuela's opposition coalition (known by its Spanish acronym MUD) is trying to overcome government obstruction and initiate a recall referendum against President Maduro.
While the first stage of the process has been approved, the National Election Council has announced that the referendum will not be held this year. The opposition is trying to hold it before January 10, 2017 to force new presidential elections, giving MUD the opportunity to capture executive power. MUD has staged massive demonstrations to pressure the government and the National Election Council to allow the referendum to take place.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan economy continues to free-fall as inflation gets worse; food and medicine are scarce, leading to thousands of deaths in hospitals; crime and violence are rising; and uncertainty about the role of the military in politics adds to the chaos.
Venezuela Officials Dash Hopes of 2016 Presidential Recall. AP. 9 August 2016.
Election officials set date that would push referendum to 2017.
Venezuelan opposition floods Caracas in vast anti-Maduro protest. Reuters. 1 September 2016.
Coverage of the largest protests demanding the recall referendum.
Venezuela's death spiral is getting worse. The Washington Post. 8 August 2016.
Overview of the multiple economic issues facing Venezuelan and how they affect society.
Venezuela: Maduro Hands over Power to Defense Minister. PanAm Post. 13 July 2016.
Article explaining the military's role in government.