Tuesday, 22 August, 2017

Venezuelan protests against government leave two students dead

GM halts operations in Venezuela after factory is seized General Motors says it's stopped business in Venezuela
Howard Terry | 21 April, 2017, 00:27

In the midst of the protests on April 19, General Motors announced that it will stop its operations in Venezuela.

"So everything is set for their to be violence today", he said. Pro-government militias, some of whose members were armed, were blamed for two deaths, including that of a teenager in Caracas who was heading to a soccer game with friends.

"Those responsible for the criminal repression of peaceful democratic activity, for the undermining of democratic institutions and practices, and for gross violations of human rights, will be held individually accountable for their actions by the Venezuelan people and their institutions, as well as by the worldwide community", the U.S. State Department said in a statement Tuesday.

On Monday, 11 Latin American countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, called on Venezuela's government to respect the constitutional right to peaceful protest.

"Tomorrow at the same time we are summoning the whole Venezuelan people to mobilize", senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles told a news conference. Bread had become all but impossible to find at many Venezuelan bakeries, which said Mr.

Wednesday's mass protest fell on a significant date for Venezuelans: On April 19, 1810, Venezuelans began their quest for independence from Spain. 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.

In the western city of San Cristobal, a 23-year-old woman identified as Paola Ramirez was shot dead by similar groups, according to Mayor Patricia Gutierrez, who said the groups circled demonstrators on motorcycles as they were heading home from the demonstration.

"Here we are out on the street fighting peacefully and repressed by the National Guard (Venezuela's militarized police) but convinced that it's on the street that we'll achieve change".

"She was shot in the head", a source in the public prosecutors' service told AFP. His government has been accused of using armed civilians to spread violence and fear. The "colectivos" call themselves community groups while the opposition accuses them of being paramilitary supporters of the Socialist Party. It was unclear how many people remained in custody.

"We don't care what other countries say, we don't care what the media says", added Cabello. "There are a lot of people in the opposition and they are full of courage".

The demonstrations erupted after the Venezuelan Supreme Court's March 30 announcement that it would strip the opposition-controlled National Assembly of its legislative powers. Criticism has mounted overseas and at home as the country continues to grapple with years of economic contraction, the world's fastest inflation and widespread shortages of food and medicine.

The opposition wants Maduro's removed, new elections and the release of political prisoners, including opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who was jailed in early 2014.

The opposition will congregate at more than two dozen meeting points around Caracas and attempt to converge on the office of the state ombudsman, a guarantor of human rights. Chavez himself survived a brief coup in 2002, and accused the United States of trying to subvert him.

Riot police take positions during the so called "mother of all marches" against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Apr 19, 2017.

Venezuela: Police firing teargas against a fleeing crowd in Caracas.

Until the slums rise up, Maduro will likely hang on, analysts say.

Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets in protest again today.

Venezuela benefited for years from oil-fuelled consumption and many poor citizens rose into the middle class.

Riding on high world oil prices, Chavez had created subsidies and price controls, raising living standards for the poor, but no longer. Snaking grocery lines are now a common sight and people routinely say they skip meals and can not find basic medication.

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