Justice Vegas is optimistic about Venezuela's future and believes that the democratic process began by Hugo Chavez 15 years ago will continue and grow.
After zigging toward liberalization, by suggesting a reduction in the gasoline subsidy or letting the bolívar devalue, and zagging back away, the only continuity is that Maduro is gradually displacing the original chavista high guard.
South American political elites seem to have jettisoned much of the high minded left idealism of past years in favor of crass economic interests. In a somewhat outlandish turn of events, Brazil has embraced Vladimir Putin, a figure who has desperately sought to end his country's political and diplomatic isolation.
While Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López remains behind bars as he awaits the July 23 start of his trial, his family has worked not only to get him released, but also to highlight the government's attempts to punish him for speaking out about the country's economic and political turmoil.
Until the moment the plane took off, we feared we might be in clear and present danger. We had just spent the last month seeking refuge in a makeshift panic room we created in our Caracas apartment.
One cannot escape the ample media coverage of the 25th anniversary of what has come to be known as the Tiananmen Square massacre, in which it is estimated that at least 300, and possibly 3000 civilians, were killed by state forces.
Diamanti joins a growing list of notable figures that have been incarcerated for opposing the authoritative regime of Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro.
The strategy of Venezuela's extreme right is to make the country ungovernable, so as to gain by force what they have been unable to win in 18 elections over the past 15 years.
The dialogue between the Venezuelan opposition and Nicolas Maduro is in full swing. Its critics are many, its most visible loser: the Cuban government.
The call opens with shared laughter between the two leaders, and with Fidel confessing that he had been unable to sleep because of the excitement of events. Chavez then quickly jumps to the story of what happened.
What is shameful is these others, hiding behind their uniforms, trappings, the military ranks they awarded to themselves. They should be embarrassed to be hiding under the dishonorable garb of their fear.
In the spring of 2009, as part of a design studio looking at sustainable tourism in the beach and cocoa producing town of Choroní, I had the opportunity to visit Venezuela and was privileged to meet a number of people who I've stayed in close touch with since.
Of course violence from either side is deplorable, and detained protesters -- including their leader, Leopoldo López -- should be released on bail unless there is legal and justifiable cause for pre-trial detention. But it is difficult to argue from the evidence that the government is trying to suppress peaceful protest.
With few exceptions, most international media coverage of the recent protests in Venezuela gives little sense of the response from the popular social movement actors who support the Maduro government but operate independently from it.
Taken over by Cuban intelligence, monitored from the Plaza of the Revolution in Havana, and ruled by a man who incites violence against those who are different, this South American nation now finds itself facing the most important dilemma of its contemporary history.
It is evident that the problems of inflation, scarcity, crime and violence are issues that affect all Venezuelans equally, regardless of their political affiliation or ideologies. Why, then, is the population still divided?