Venezuela has faced increasingly tough economic and political times since the death in March 2013 of Hugo Chávez. President Maduro is promoting religious imagery related to the former leader and creating a 'civil religion' around his legacy.
As in Ukraine, Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro is losing the moral high ground as his forces shoot innocent protesters. He must adopt the nonviolent tactics of his political opponents.
Since its flawed April 14 presidential election, Venezuela has experienced violence over opposition demands for a vote recount. Pro-democracy forces must keep the moral high ground of nonviolence to avoid another Syria.
As news of the death of President Hugo Chávez spread, Venezuelans rushed to downtown Caracas, many wearing red in honor of their socialist commandante.