Jueves, 21 Setiembre, 2017

Fatalities As Latest Protests In Venezuela Turn Violent

Galeno Paniagua | 19 May, 2017, 20:52

An opposition supporter carrying a child participates in a blockade of an avenue while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2017.

Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States and one of President Nicolas Maduro's harshest worldwide critics, called for the government to be held to account over the deaths. Diego Hernandez, 33, and Luis Alviarez, 18, were killed in Tachira, while Yeison Mora Castillo, 17, died near a protest farther east in the state of Barinas on Monday. Power grabs, most recently to replace the Constitution, have led to the protests.

Maduro accuses them of seeking a violent coup. They pledged to take to the streets again the next day.

On Monday, thousands massed from 7am (1100 GMT) on highways in Caracas and elsewhere, chanting slogans, waving banners, playing cards in deck chairs, enjoying impromptu sports games and sharing food.

"I'm here for the full 12 hours".

It is worth noting that the opposition to the government resorts to the use of elderly people and children in their clashes with the police, while its leaders remain away from the conflict.

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"Unfortunately, we are up against a dictatorship".

The state of economic emergency was implemented in the first place when the Bolivarian government declared that an economic war was being waged against the Venezuelan people.

In western Tachira state, some farmers were striking on Monday in solidarity with the protesters.

He said they were released after he himself intervened.

Top armed forces officials have been pledging loyalty in public, though opposition leader Henrique Capriles said on Friday that 85 military officials had been arrested for dissent. One was in critical condition after being shot in the head, authorities said.

At least 39 people have died, including protesters, government sympathizers, bystanders, and security forces, during six weeks of protests.

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Hundreds have reportedly been arrested in a crackdown on protesters in Venezuela. Those killed are largely young men in their 20s and 30s, protesters or those who happened to be in nearby areas during clashes.

The president accuses protesters of seeking a violent coup, and says he is the victim of an global right-wing conspiracy that has already brought down leftist governments in Brazil, Argentina and Peru in recent years.

Government supporters say global media coverage of Venezuela has been biased, emphasizing government repression and minimizing opposition violence.

Still, Maduro has shown no indication he will back down to external pressure.

On Monday, the Organization of American States voted to hold a rare foreign ministers' meeting later this month to discuss the crisis.

Venezuela announced in late April that it would be leaving the OAS, which seeks to defend democracy throughout the hemisphere, and its representative was not present at Monday's meeting.

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Opposition activists say another protester was also killed in the state. But Maduro vowed at the weekend that the next presidential election, due in late 2018, would go ahead.

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