Sunday, April 9, 2017

Massive anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela



Protesters clashed with security forces during demonstrations in Venezuela on April 8, after a ban on a top opposition leader from office breathed life into a fractured movement and fuelled the first sustained anti-government demonstrations since 2014. Thousands of people, some carrying signs reading "Dictator Maduro!" and "Elections now!" in support of banned leader Henrique Capriles, took part in marches across the country against unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

Security forces blocked the march in Caracas, as they did during two other protests this week, prompting violent confrontations. Protesters lobbed rocks and petrol bombs and burned trash in the street while authorities responded with a volley of tear gas. A group of about a hundred demonstrators vandalized and set fire to an office of the Supreme Court in Caracas.

The unrest was sparked by a Supreme Court decision last week to assume the role of the opposition-led National Assembly. The action was quickly overturned, but the global outcry it sparked galvanized the opposition.

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