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Global Protests: What Led 3 Countries into Turmoil

Current Protests: What lead three countries in turmoil. Even though 2014 has just started, many demonstrations around the world have made headline news. In recent years, we have experienced the rise in general social instability and unrest, which have not come without consequences. The sources of tension and conflicts have been diverse ranging from dissatisfaction arisen from economical problems to issues of human rights. Three countries have been the main focus on protests that have broken out in the world:

1. Venezuela

In February, student demonstrators took over the streets of Caracas, Venezuela with multiple demands and complaints on the social and economical situation in the country. The anti-government protesters demanded among many things freedom of speech, increased security and solution to economical problems. 
This caused a violent reaction from the government that claimed they would defend democracy at any cost and eradicate the protests “as one eradicates an infection”. President Maduro has accused the opposition for the turmoil as well as the US for sparking the demonstration.  The leader of the opposition L.Lopez was incarcerated and is facing serious accusations. Among failed attempts to solve the situation, many are injured and arrested, while the reported death toll has reached six.
2. Ukraine
In Ukraine, protests had been taking place since November 2013, however it wasn’t until February of 2014 that violent anti-government demonstrations took over Maidan Square and the world’s attention turned to Kiev. This came after the refusal of the president of the country to sign a trade deal with the EU.  In a situation of apparent crisis and political insecurity, unhappy Ukrainians demanded for better relations with the European Union, a more stable and prosperous country, as well as hope for a better future.

Between the flames caused by Molotov cocktails, and the violent clashes between protesters and the police, many have been injured while 77 deaths have been reported. Knowing that the situation in Ukraine could have a big impact on the EU, the US and even more extensive consequences, important leaders have pushed for dialog and a solution to the chaos, while sanctions were considered. While opposition leaders signed a deal with the country’s president trying to resolve the crisis, protesters claimed they would remain in the streets.

3. Thailand
After months of anti-government protests and a political crisis, violence exploded in Bangkok where many have been injured and several deaths were reported from clashes between demonstrators and the police. Urban elite and middle class Thai have taken up the streets of the capital, demanding that the current Prime minister steps down, accusing her of being a puppet of her brother, Thaksin, who was previously PM of Thailand and was exiled after a coup.

The nation seems divided between those that support the government and those that don’t. No solid steps to find a resolution for this crisis have been made yet and it seems like Thailand will suffer from unrest and instability for a while.

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Ana Capi

Mt Holyoke

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