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Venezuelans again shut down capital to protest government

Venezuelans again shut down capital to protest government

Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States and one of President Nicolas Maduro's harshest global critics, called for the government to be held to account over the deaths.

At least one person has died in renewed violence in Venezuela, as thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro staged sit-ins and roadblocks across the country in a seventh week of anti-government rallies.

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.

A policeman was arrested for his alleged role in the killing of 33-year-old Luis Alviarez, a taxi driver who was shot in the thorax, in Palmira, Tachira state, on Monday. Several people were reported injured and witness videos showed demonstrators setting an armored vehicle on fire.

More than three dozen people have been killed and hundreds injured in protests that erupted after the government-stacked Supreme Court issued a ruling March 29 nullifying the opposition-controlled National Assembly, a decision it later reversed amid a storm of worldwide criticism and outrage among Venezuelans.

In the central state of Carabobo, three officers were shot, including one in critical condition after being struck in the head, authorities said.

The violence added to a mounting toll of bloodshed as Venezuela's opposition vows to step up near-daily demonstrations and Maduro shows no intention of conceding to opposition demands.

The high-level meeting at the White House on Saturday centered on Venezuela's current internal crisis and opposition-led anti-government protests as well as efforts to remove the socialist government that has repeatedly accused Washington of interference in its domestic affairs in a bid to bring to power a US-friendly administration.




Venezuela has been gripped by soaring inflation and severe shortages of basic food and medical supplies, as its economy slips into ruin.

The European Union is also calling for Venezuela to hold elections.

Global pressure on the troubled South American nation is continuing to increase, with the Organization of American States voting Monday to hold a rare foreign ministers' meeting later this month to discuss Venezuela's political crisis.

Dozens of mothers dressed in black were out on Caracas's streets Sunday to mark a Mother's Day of protest, hours after violent unrest in the towns of Caja Seca and Pueblo Llano.

On Monday, demonstrators assembled a giant rosary with balloons hanging from a Caracas highway overpass. The OAS floated the idea of the meeting last month, prompting Venezuela to announce plans to withdraw from the group. Others simply sat and held signs declaring their resistance.

"We are against this fraudulent process", Capriles said on his radio broadcast. A national guardsman and a police officer have also been killed.

The government and the opposition have blamed each other of sending armed groups to sow violence in the protests.


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