It is a year since former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez died and left the government in the hands of former bus driver Nicolas Maduro. Chavez initially offered the poor people of Venezuela an opportunity to gain power and raise their standard of living. It was always a great ploy in Latin America to pose as the enemy of the colossus of the north, the United States of America. Chavez embraced Cuba and received support to improve the educational and health system of his nation. In the process, he infuriated the middle and upper classes of the country. One result was a flight of talent and investment money. By the time he died, inflation was rising and shortages of goods so common that a roll of toilet paper was considered to be a gift from God.
Maduro won the election for president by a few hundred thousand votes despite controlling television and counting the ballots. Since then there have been constant riots and violence in the streets as the middle and upper classes, and increasingly among the poor, demands rise for creating a stable economy and ending government control of the society and economic system. Yesterday, a few more dead in the streets as gangs of motorcycle men wander the streets seeking to fight and prevent opponents of the regime to engage in protests. Just another day of grief in Venezuela.