Dozens hurt, 1 dead in violent day of protests in Venezuela

Jerome Frank
May 12, 2017

Current protests follow a Supreme Court attempt to strip power from the opposition-held Congress, the National Assembly, in a move that many believe to be aimed at giving Maduro's increasingly unpopular government more power.

The official death toll now stands at nearly 40 people, although opposition activists have put it higher.

The opposition blames President Nicolas Maduro for the crisis.

"They use their weapons against us, so people are using what they have", said MP Rafael Guzman, who was seen in the thick of tear gas throwing a canister back at security forces during a protest on Monday.

The statistics, issued on the ministry's website after almost two years of data silence from President Nicolas Maduro's leftist government, also showed a jump in illnesses such as diphtheria and Zika.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Dozens of people were injured and a 27-year-old man killed Wednesday during another day of violent clashes in Venezuela's capital during demonstrations demanding elections.

The anti-government protests in Venezuela's capital Caracas and a number of major cities have erupted as the oil-rich South American country has been sinking into a deeper and deeper economic crisis, partly as a result of low oil prices, coupled with a political crisis. "We can not remain silent in the face of such obvious abuse of the basic human rights of Venezuelans".

Some of them have apparently been insisting that protesters not use glass bottles as their intention is only to humiliate security forces and not injure them.

Militiamen approached, all dressed in dark colours with pieces of cloth covering their faces. One masked militia member fired several shots into the air.

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Many are thought to sympathize with protesters' complaints about the economic situation but do not speak out for fear of retaliation by authorities.

The troops responded with tear gas and water cannon.

"There's nothing explosive here".

Essentially, the government was trying to get rid of any opposition.

Reuters also noted that Venezuelans have been widely sharing messages on WhatsApp groups to give step-by-step instructions on how to put together a poopootov cocktail.

Some of the protesters carried wooden shields with images of Venezuela's constitution, which Maduro wants to rewrite.

Demonstrators contend President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government has become an authoritarian regime responsible for triple-digit inflation, widespread food and medical supply shortages and soaring crime.

Lansberg-Rodriguez said those within the military who dislike the government tend to be lower-ranking officers, and that it is possible there will be more defections.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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