Deadly unrest in Venezuela as Trump donation revealed
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 21, 2017,
Apr 21, 2017, 1:28
The demonstrations come after nearly three weeks of anti-government street protests that now have resulted in seven deaths - including one police officer - dozens of injured and more than 500 arrests, of which more than 200 are still in custody, according to the opposition and non-governmental organization Foro Penal Venezolano.
As has become common in recent weeks on protest days, Venezuelan authorities will close 27 metro stations and likely set up checkpoints to slow entry to the city.
De La Rosa spoke to one man, who said his mother has gone without food or medicine.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said he's very concerned over the potential violence from Maduro's government used to shut down protestors. Following this move, the government also banned Henrique Capriles Radonski - the governor of Miranda state and opposition presidential candidate in the past two elections - from holding public office for 15 years, with little explanation. The opposition sees the government measures as turning Venezuela into a almost full-blown dictatorship. "They don't have anything else to lose", Beatrice Alavera said.
The president's foes are calling for new elections, the release of political prisoners and an end to autocratic abuses of Venezuelan institutions.
Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro have called on Venezuelans to take to the streets for what they've dubbed the "mother of all marches" against the embattled socialist leader.
Despite having the world's largest proven oil reserves, Venezuela has suffered for several years from high inflation, rampant crime and a shortage of basic goods.
Maduro's forces have previously barred protesters from the government stronghold with rubber pellets and armored vehicles.
On Wednesday, the day Venezuela is celebrating its declaration of independence from Spain two centuries ago, he accused the opposition of fomenting violence and called for elections to "put conspirators and the interventionist right in their place".
Non-government rights group Provea said the woman died "in the context of the demonstrations". "In Venezuela, there is no peace, no justice", he said.
The ballot for state governors has been delayed since past year and elections authorities have not announced when it will be held.
"We want to get out of all this oppression and dictatorship, all the mistreatment we have had - the hunger, the kids dying in the countryside, the poverty", another protester, an unemployed school teacher named Libertad Diaz, told Phil. Today's protests unfolded amid explosive tensions, in a country where security forces have brutally repressed anti-government demonstrations, sometimes in collaboration with armed pro-government groups. The government last year abruptly postponed regional elections the opposition was heavily favored to win and cut off a petition drive to force a referendum seeking Maduro's removal before elections late next year.
While Chavistas gathered in Central Caracas, opposition protesters convened in the city's more affluent east side, eventually taking over major roads and highways.
Foreign governments are also warning about the increasingly bellicose rhetoric and repressive stance of the government.
Late Tuesday, on national television, Maduro reasserted his earlier claims that the United States is behind opposition marches, saying the U.S. State Department had given the green light for a coup attempt.
"I don t have any food in the fridge", said protester Jean Tovar, 32, who held rocks in his hands ready to throw at military police in Caracas.