Venezuela's opposition is entering the third week of its massive street protests, which were triggered in part by high inflation, persistent scarcity of basic goods, and one of the worst crime waves in the world. Protesters are constantly clashing with security forces, sometimes violently. Yet the battle is also being fought in the public sphere, where both sides are working hard to make their case.
On Feb. 20, citizens of Derna, a port city in eastern Libya, hoped to cast their votes for the Constituent Assembly (the body that will write the country's new constitution) along with the rest of the country. Unfortunately, the area's extremist groups had other ideas. Ahead of the election, they bombed many polling stations and shut down the rest, preventing people from casting their votes. When the central government set up an election rerun in the city on Feb. 26, Derna's voters boycotted the election, because the government had done nothing to ensure that this run would be any safer than the last. As a result, the city has no representatives in the Constituent Assembly, thanks to a few powerful militants who insist that democracy contradicts Islam.
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Timothy Snyder explains why Russia's intervention in Crimea could one day rebound against it. Christian Caryl satirizes the logic behind Vladimir Putin's extension of protection to "Russian-speakers" throughout Ukraine.
Libyans headed to the polls on Feb. 20 to elect their Constituent Assembly, the body in charge of drafting the country's constitution. The elections took place amid a deteriorating security situation and deepening political polarization. Only 45 percent of the 1.1 million who registered for the election turned up to cast their votes. That's less than 14 percent of the eligible voters in the country.
Ángel Vivas is a retired former general from Venezuela's armed forces. He's also, increasingly, a thorn in the regime's side, first drawing ire as a blogger, then as an opposition Twitter star, and now as a modern day Lamarque.