How Maduro Keeps Power in Venezuela, Even With the Lights Out
Venezuela has been in crisis for years, but earlier this month, the country suffered a weeklong power outage, which led to widespread looting, deaths in hospitals, major food shortages and anarchy in the streets.
For this video, Times reporter Neil Collier visited everyday Venezuelans to chronicle the impact of the blackout, which is just one of many hardships in a country already facing a crippling economic crisis and shortages of food, medicine and water.
Some residents blame President Nicolás Maduro, who in January was sworn in for his second term. The United States, the European Union and many other countries call his presidency illegitimate and have attempted to oust Mr. Maduro, recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s rightful leader.
But Mr. Maduro continues to enjoy popular support in some parts of the country, where his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, is still revered. Much of the country relies on government benefits for basic needs, including food, which discourages dissent and helps Mr. Maduro maintain control.
The Times visited a prison, a children’s hospital and protest marches for this video dispatch, examining how the government system in Venezuela helps squelch opposition and keep Mr. Maduro in power.