Clashes in Caracas as anti-Maduro protesters take to the streets
- Author: Ronnie Bowen Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 1:40
The opposition is demanding authorities set a date for postponed regional elections.
Earlier in the week, Lilian Tintori, the wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who backed dialogue as a solution to the country's political strife.
He was in Cuba on Tuesday for a gathering of the Bolivarian Alliance, a leftist coalition of 11 Latin-American nations.
Maduro has accused protestors of inciting unrest and called on them to halt its efforts and instead participate in conversation with him and his government. But opposition leaders renewed calls to take to the streets, saying Maduro's words have no credibility until a full election timeline has been formally established.
"The national guard is pummeling thousands of peaceful protestors", Duarte said.
The opposition groups organising it said they would not reveal the destination of the march until everyone had gathered, to prevent the security forces from blocking their way.
"We are still waiting for a statement by the OAS about violent acts called by the opposition, which curtail the rights of Venezuelans", wrote Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez on his Twitter account Tuesday.
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At least 17 people were treated for injuries, according to Ramon Muchacho, a Caracas-area mayor where the demonstration took place. One day a small group of young protesters unsuccessfully tried to set fire to a Supreme Court office. Opposition lawmakers said the man, Daniel Queliz, was killed by security forces while he was protesting. A degraded pyrotechnic charge propelling the cartridge could also lead to uncontrolled explosions, he said.
Demonstrators trying to march to the building housing Saab's Defensoria del Pueblo (Defenders of the People) agency were turned back by police riot squads three times last week, leaving more than 60 people injured and dozens under arrest.
Such countries as Colombia, Chile and Mexico expressed their concern over the court's decision, while Peru recalled its ambassador from Venezuela.
"The Bolivarian government stands by its commitment to guarantee the tranquillity and social wellbeing of our people", he said.
The secretary general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, condemned the deaths on Tuesday. Authorities on Friday banned opposition leader Henrique Capriles from seeking office for 15 years for alleged administrative irregularities as governor of Miranda state, a position he has held since 2008.
"We urge President Maduro to reconsider the decision to bar Capriles and ensure Venezuelans can exercise their right to elect their representatives in free and fair elections", the US State Department said in a statement.
Popular singer Miguel Ignacio Mendoza, known as Nacho, was among those affected by tear gas in Caracas Monday.