From: UpFront

Has Venezuela reached a tipping point?

We challenge OAS chief Luis Almagro on his stance on Venezuela, and debate if Maduro is turning authoritarian.

Waves of anti-government protests continue to rock Venezuela as its economic and political crises deepen.

Is there a way forward?

In this UpFront special, we speak to the secretary general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, about his stance on Venezuela.

And in the Arena, we debate whether the Venezuelan government is authoritarian.

Headliner – What can be done to rescue Venezuela?

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been facing mounting criticism from international observers as his government continues to struggle with protests on the streets.

One of his fiercest critics has been Luis Almagro, the head of the Organization of American States (OAS), who says the struggle afflicting Venezuela isn’t about power, but democracy.

“This is not a struggle for power, but a struggle for democracy,” says Almagro, who believes that cancelling last year’s recall referendum was an attack on Venezuela’s democratic institutions.

“The legitimacy of origin of this government was killed when they denied the recall referendum to the people.”

In this week’s Headliner, we challenge OAS chief and former Uruguayan foreign minister Luis Almagro about his stance on Venezuela.

Arena – Is Maduro turning Venezuela authoritarian?

Venezuela’s political crisis is escalating fast.

With the economy in freefall, protesters have hit the streets and violence is on the rise.

Has the Venezuelan government gone authoritarian?

“It’s important to say Nicolas Maduro was democratically elected,” says Gabriel Hetland, a professor at the University of Albany. “But I think actions over the last 16 months have moved Venezuela unfortunately in a more authoritarian direction.”

“It is a government under siege,” counters Venezuelan-American journalist Eva Golinger, who also served as an adviser to former President Hugo Chavez. “The opposition doesn’t play by democratic rules, unfortunately has not, and as of yet we haven’t seen any such initiative or indication that they will in the near future.”

In this week’s Arena, Gabriel Hetland and Eva Golinger debate different perspectives on the crisis in Venezuela.

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