Supporters of the Venezuelan government rallied in Caracas last week to mark 25 years since the “Caracazo” uprising of 1989.
Neoliberal policies had plunged more than half of Venezuela’s population into poverty. Protests erupted against then president Carlos Andres Perez signing a deal with the International Monetary Fund.
Hundreds were killed in the clampdown that followed.
Meanwhile the political heirs of Andres Perez continue to protest for the “exit” of left wing president Nicolas Maduro.
Opposition leaders—right wing politicians, some of whom took part in the 2002 coup attempt against then president Hugo Chavez—called for people to ignore a traditional holiday week to keep marching last week.
The government and opposition are also organising rival investigations into the violent clashes that have so far killed 17—including motorcyclists beheaded by wire pulled across roads by opposition blockades.
President Nicolas Maduro has also announced measures to try and deal with spiralling inflation. Venezuela’s ongoing oil boom is fuelling inflation and private profits instead of investment to help ordinary Venezuelans who look to Maduro’s government.