By FOX News’ Jeremy Hritz, in Panama City, Panama.
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A boom on the streets of Venezuela caused more controversy on Monday as the country’s military increased its actions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. While that news is dominating the headlines of the past few days, you might not know that a candidate recently residing in the United States also garnered the headlines as well.
The far-right far-right presidential candidate catapulted up the polls when he declared for the candidacy of the right-wing party in the country in the middle of October. While he’s been operating relatively quietly due to legal complications, there are reports by the Independent Journal Review that a dog was recently picked up by Mexican authorities and impounded, all because his dog resembled a Chihuahua, the same dog that he’s owned since birth.
Nicolas Roelofs was born in Central America in 1969, while attending a circus school. Over the course of his life, Roelofs had dual citizenship in Venezuela and the United States. In the wake of a failed coup that year, he was imprisoned and charged with murder. As of Monday, Roelofs was being held on charges of corruption related to an international debt. However, Roelofs holds Mexican citizenship which can be considered a mitigating factor in the case.
The campaign officially commenced in December of 2017 and Roelofs’ campaign officially registered with the Venezuelan electoral board and formally declared him a candidate in early October. However, there were earlier chapters of this campaign where Roelofs called for protests. This campaign is seemingly building momentum with voters around the country. On Monday, the leftist candidate in the race, Fernando Haddad, called for a national census in hopes of better understanding the population’s living conditions, while also calling for solutions to challenges such as drug trafficking. Haddad and Roelofs both stand in contrast to the parties that have operated in Venezuela recently, but it could be argued that Haddad is the preferred candidate of the right-wing opposition.
Meanwhile, a medical emergency involving a Venezuelan soldier in the northern state of Lara has left the leader of the country’s armed forces, Gen. Vladimir Padrino Jr., incapacitated. Earlier this month, a larger public meeting of the Fifth Front Movement, a pro-government political party, was called off following the report of the young soldier’s injury.
This story comes as Venezuelans continue to suffer from a bevy of political challenges that have affected them for years. The Economic Crisis, inflation, severe food shortages, and government mismanagement have come to the forefront in recent weeks. The most recent protests in the country are very problematic for the government of President Maduro. Some of those protests have turned violent, as was seen the other day in the images coming out of Venezuela, which can be viewed below.
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— The Independent Journal Review