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In Venezuela, pro-democracy protestors have been fighting against Nicolás Maduro’s presidency since January 2019, enduring the dire consequences of his authoritarian rule, such as hyperinflation of the Bolivar and severe shortages of food and medicine. Amidst this turmoil, many Venezuelans have turned to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a refuge. In an attempt to circumvent US sanctions exacerbating the economic crisis, the Venezuelan government even launched its own cryptocurrency, Petro, backed by the nation’s natural resources reserves. Bitcoin has provided a lifeline for Venezuelans seeking financial stability and alternatives to the volatile Bolivar.
In Zimbabwe, similar to the situation in Venezuela, thousands of people have been engaged in protests since January 2019, expressing their discontent with the poor economic conditions and pervasive government corruption. In response, the government has taken a coordinated approach to crack down on the protests, leading to hundreds of arrests and multiple deaths.
The demonstrations in Zimbabwe reflect the frustration of the population with issues such as hyperinflation, unemployment, and limited access to basic necessities. However, the government’s response has been marked by forceful measures rather than addressing the underlying issues that have fueled the protests. The ongoing protests and the government’s crackdown highlight the need for comprehensive reforms to address the economic challenges and restore public trust in Zimbabwe. Efforts towards fostering transparency, accountability, and inclusive governance are crucial to address the grievances of the Zimbabwean people and create a path towards a more stable and prosperous future.
The Chile protests initially erupted due to the rise in the Santiago Metro fare, but they soon became a reflection of broader issues such as the increasing cost of living and deep-seated inequality in the country. What started as a fare evasion campaign by secondary school students quickly escalated into large-scale demonstrations, with organized groups of protestors disrupting the Santiago Metro system and causing significant damage to infrastructure. More recently, the protests in Chile have taken a dangerous turn. Citizens have taken to the streets once again, leading to the burning down of banks and the destruction of over 1,000 ATMs. In response, President Sebastian Piñera’s government has employed harsh tactics, resulting in thousands of arrests and numerous deaths. As a consequence, people across the country are now encountering difficulties in accessing cash from the remaining ATMs.
The protests in Hong Kong, which began in 2020 and escalated into mass movements in June, were initially sparked by opposition to the proposed 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill. This bill, officially known as the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill 2019, sought to enable the extradition of individuals from Hong Kong to mainland China, where the legal system is perceived as lacking transparency and independence. The proposed bill ignited fears among the Hong Kong population regarding the potential erosion of their civil liberties, autonomy, and judicial independence. Over time, the protests in Hong Kong expanded to encompass broader concerns about governance, freedom of speech, and democratic rights. The ongoing demonstrations signify a broader struggle for civil liberties and democratic values in Hong Kong, with protestors demanding accountability, transparency, and greater democratic participation in shaping their own future.