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More than three quarters of Venezuela's 31 million people want to free themselves from the stranglehold of their rulers, a small group of no more than 150 mafialike figures (mostly military) who have hijacked the country's democracy, robbed it blind, and created a devastating humanitarian crisis. The 18-year-old regime – established by Hugo Chavez, and now led by President Nicolas Maduro – would rather hold an entire country hostage than lose power and potentially have to answer for crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court.Venezuelans have actively pursued a change of government.Maduro recently announced that if the regime cannot muster the votes needed to stay in power, it will use its weapons instead. But he is also taking more extreme political action to protect the regime: He has now ordered, by presidential decree (rather than by referendum, as the constitution requires), a constituent assembly, to be chosen on July 30, to draft a new "communal" constitution.The demonstrations have now become what is essentially a popular uprising, with Venezuela's people calling on the armed forces to evict the regime from power.
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