Tensions continue to escalate in Venezuela after results from what many are calling a "sham" election granted a new legislative body the power to rewrite the Constitution.
The move is widely seen as a turning point for the oil-rich Latin American country – away from democracy, toward dictatorship.
President Nicolás Maduro refused the results of an nonbinding referendum in mid-July opposing his National Constituent Assembly. More than 1,000 Venezuelans in the San Antonio area turned out to show solidarity by casting votes in this symbolic referendum.
In response, the United States announced financial sanctions against Maduro's government on Monday. Two prominent leaders of the opposition were allegedly taken from their homes by Venezuelan intelligence officials and jailed on Tuesday.
Violence between protesters and police continues to escalate. The Venezuelan attorney general's office estimates that more than 125 people have been killed since clashes began in April and at least 16 are dead since Sunday.
How are Venezuelan expatriates living in San Antonio affected by this political turmoil? What's next for the embattled country and what are the potential implications for Latin America?
- Anna Ramos, journalist and active member of the Venezuelan Association of San Antonio
- Kenny D’ Santiago Montgomery, French and Spanish instructor and active member of the Venezuelan Association of San Antonio
- Inaki Sagarzazu, assistant professor of political science at Texas Tech University who specializes in Venezuelan politics
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