New Constitution Or New Leader? Venezuela's Struggle For Its Future

After more than a month of protests, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro called for a new constitution — but protesters aren't buying it.
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New Constitution Or New Leader? Venezuela's Struggle For Its Future

After more than a month of anti-government protests and riots, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said he wants to change the country's constitution.

He called for the creation of a "Constituent National Assembly," a new legislature that could rewrite the country's current constitution. That was crafted in 1999 by Hugo Chávez, the leader who turned Venezuela toward socialism by nationalizing the country's massive oil reserves.

But opposition leaders say Maduro's announcement is a ruse to maintain power.

On top of an economic crisis, the pro-Maduro Supreme Court dissolved the existing National Assembly, which the opposition controlled.

Protesters are calling for new elections and for Maduro to step down. The president has called the protests a "fascist coup."

Opposition leaders say Maduro's plan to redraft the constitution is a "self-coup" and say the president is "dissolving democracy and dissolving our republic."