Venezuela has been deviating away from democracy since it underwent colossal economic crisis due to a fall in oil prices started in 2014. President Nicolás Maduro has been trying to consolidate powers and make changes to the constitution, ensuring that he remains in power with an executive branch of office that bypasses the democratically elected leaders.
Venezuelan authorities are also using illegal means to retain opposition leaders, to ensure they do not take part in protests, and uprisings across the country in relation to the undemocratic measures President Maduro has taken. Bolivarian National Intelligence Service arrested opposition party activist Steyci Escalona at a toll booth upon their return to Caracas on 11 January 2017, while on the same day Vice-president on national TV said both Gilber and Steyci had explosives with them, nd were involved in terrorist activities.
Americas Director at Amnesty International, Erika Guevara-Rosas has also condemned the Venezuelan government over their recent oppression and killings of protestors. “The fact that there are people detained in Venezuela without any official charges against them demonstrates the desperate state of human rights in the country.”
Many Venezuelans have started to flee Brazil, over 12,000 are there since 2014, Moreover, Venezuela has also said that it will soon pull out from the Organization of American States, although the international community thinks it will isolate Venezuela, the country looks to move away from western influence, and its ability to dictate how the country should run.