In addition, a demonstration took place at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington. He didn’t provide any evidence to back up the claim, and the opposition rejected it as an attempt to intimidate Venezuelans from exercising their constitutional right to protest. Not so, Mr. Maduro’s government insisted, accusing bakeries of hoarding flour to destabilise his government and using it in expensive cakes and pastries rather than cheap, subsidised bread.
Venezuela is grappling with a new wave of political protest since April 4 that has led to the deaths of six people and almost 600 arrests. Military securities brutally repressed people walking, throwing thousands of tear bombs and pellets at them, while motorized gangs of government supporters opened fire on protesters, leaving several injured.
Despite Wednesday’s deadly violence, opposition leader Henrique Capriles called for fresh protests on Thursday.
“We’re convinced the country knows who the true coup mongers are and it’s against them we will march tomorrow”, the opposition said in a Tuesday late-night statement.
Chavez launched the leftist movement carried on by Maduro, who succeeded him as president in 2013.
His government seized General Motors’ assembly plant in Venezuela on Wednesday amid the protests demanding a new presidential election and calling for an end to the economic chaos that has produced shortages of food and medicine as well as soaring inflation.
“This is the moment”, said Raquel Belfort, a 42-year-old protester in wealthier eastern Caracas on Thursday, sporting a hat in the yellow, blue and red colors of the Venezuelan flag.
Paola Ramirez, a university student from San Cristobal, a city near the Colombian border, was also shot by armed government supporters when she and her boyfriend were running away from the gang. ‘We’re marching for the freedom of our country’. “I left her on a block where she was going to find her sister and I went to hide the bike”.
Jorban Contreras, a paramedic and director of the civil protection unit in Tachira state, said the woman already was dead from a gunshot wound to her chest when he arrived.
“This is like a chess game and each side is moving whatever pieces they can”, said Machuca, her face covered in a white, sticky substance to protect herself from the effects of tear gas. Venezuelans have endured weeks, in some cases months, without basics such as milk, eggs, flour, soap and toilet paper.
Right-wing leaders had called today’s demonstration in hopes of toppling the Bolivarian government but failed when pro-government forces also came out in defense of the country’s sovereignty. Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro called on Venezuelans to take to the. Hundreds were arrested and at least two people were killed.
And there are accusations the Maduro government is becoming a full-blown dictatorship. Wearing just sneakers and tube socks, he approached heavily armed police in gas masks.
“This is exhausting – but we won’t give up until we achieve a better country and democracy”, said Luiza Mayorca, a lawyer and mother of three in Caracas. They’re committing crimes and violating human rights by stepping on the rights of people.
A Supreme Court decision in March to assume the powers of the opposition-led Congress sparked a wave of protests that have not ebbed, even though the court has partly reversed the measure in the face of worldwide condemnation.
Tens of thousands of angry protesters converged from 26 different points spread across the capital to attempt to march downtown to the Ombudsman’s office. In a scene similar to the day before, police in riot gear lobbed tear gas canisters in front of a line of protesters, scattering some.
The dueling marches drew parallels to the clashes between pro and anti-government protesters in 2002 that triggered a brief coup against late President Hugo Chavez. He appeared on Wednesday afternoon on national television saying that the corrupt and interventionist right-wing had been defeated.
The military has strong economic incentives to hold Maduro in power, Diego Moya-Ocampos, an analyst at IHS Markit, said in an emailed note.
There are early indications one young Venezuelan, who was shot, has died.
Venezuela benefited for years from oil-fuelled consumption and many poor citizens rose into the middle class. It said that as of Monday, 241 people were being detained. It has also delayed local and state elections.