This war has begun in the context of the crisis in Chavismo politics now marked by the lack of food, medicine and money for the people.

Source: https://thewire.in/171850/venezuela-crisis-populism/

I would have two questions regarding the above sentence:

  1. Is the part "has begun in the context of the crisis in Chavismo politics" defining relative clause?.

  2. I do not understand the usage of tenses in the clause. Why the present perfect? The war between supportes of the Venezuelan regime and its oponents began in the past after all. So I would await simple past. Why is the past simple in "politics now marked by the lack of food, medicine and money for the people? "Now" refers to the present and the enlisted problems still lasts.

  • 1
    The present perfect would imply that the speaker believes the war to be still in its initial stage. Let's say a footrace has just begun, and is still underway, and that right at the outset one of the runners has stumbled and taken out the runner in the lane next to him. A TV sports announcer might say This race has begun with an unfortunate accident. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 30 '17 at 16:58
  • Your first question is unclear. Please edit it. "that part"?? If you're asking about "This war has begun...politics.", that is the matrix clause. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 30 '17 at 17:04
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    marked is the past participle of mark. Not a simple past. A synonym would be "characterized by..." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 30 '17 at 17:06
  • 1
    has begun is the main verb of the matrix clause, not a relative. "...crisis in Chavismo politics (which [crisis] is) marked by the lack of food, medicine, and money for the people." Although it's possible (grammatically) to see those characteristics as applying to Chavismo politics in general and not to the crisis in particular, in which case in would be "...politics (which [politics] are) now marked by the lack...." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 30 '17 at 18:37
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    But it is not the war which is marked with those characteristics, but the crisis in Chavismo politics (or those politics). Those characteristics are the context for the war. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 30 '17 at 19:49

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