The incredibly disturbing development comes in the wake of a contested election, as reported at the Economist, which notes,
"Candidates and leaders of the MUD [opposition coalition, called the Democratic Unity alliance] were threatened with jail."
The hyperinflation in Venezuela has resulted in shortages of the "most basic supplies, such as cooking oil, toilet paper, and even newsprint," as reported at Liberty Unyielding.
The Economist gives insight into just how bad it is in Venezuela:
"As the economy has worsened, discontent has spread beyond the middle class. Mr Maduro’s pre-election antics will do little to ease the pain of two hours spent queuing for milk and toilet paper."
The class war tactic has not surprisingly left shopkeepers in a state of fear, as they have become the new scapegoat for hyperinflation, effectively deflecting attention from the socialist policies that caused the problems in the first place.
"TV news footage captured the frustration of a wailing and screaming computer store owner in the city of Puerto La Cruz who was arrested for price gouging."
Before Chavez passed, Juan Forero of the Washington Post reported,
"With cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez battling for his life, the Obama administration has embarked on a discreet but concerted weeks-long diplomatic initiative to open channels of communication with his sharply anti-American government."
The "diplomatic initiative" did not work out so well, as William Neuman of the New York Times reported in October,
"Stepping up hostilities with the United States, President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela expelled the top American diplomat and two other embassy officials from the country on Monday, accusing them of supporting plots to sabotage the country’s electrical grid and the economy."
During a "live television broadcast," Maduro exclaimed “Get out of Venezuela! Yankee go home!”