University Student Killed in Venezuela Opposition Protest

Apr 12, 2017, 02:45
University Student Killed in Venezuela Opposition Protest

Police used tear gas on the crowds, hundreds of whom were reportedly arrested after throwing smoke bombs Last week Maduro's government banned the main opposition leader Henrique Capriles from running in presidential race for 15 years.

Human rights organizations and countries including the United States are calling on Venezuela to allow protesters to gather and refrain from unnecessary use of force, adding to mounting worldwide pressure for the Andean nation's government to hold elections and respect democratic institutions.

"We need to get out on the street and fight, to tell these people we don't want them", said Maria Guedez, a 67-year-old homemaker carrying a sign that read, "No more dictatorship".

Opposition leaders said police launched gas canisters at the entrace to a hospital, forcing the evacuation of an infant.

Maduro's supporters announced they too would stage a major march that day in central Caracas.

Opposition leaders contend the government is steadily spiraling toward authoritarianism.

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Members of the opposition-controlled National Assembly showed up at the National Guard's headquarters in Caracas early Tuesday to deliver a document denouncing the government response to the protests.

The opposition's demands include that authorities set a date for gubernatorial elections that have been postponed indefinitely. On Monday, the government closed 18 subway stations (a new record) to prevent attendance for the protest, slowed down internet, blocked the signal of TV stations, attacked journalists (injuring at least one), downed a drone with live gunfire and still could not control the protest.

"That's the only way there will be peace in Venezuela", said Julio Borges, president of the National Assembly. A degraded pyrotechnic charge propelling the cartridge could also lead to uncontrolled explosions, he said.

The court quickly overturned the most controversial part of its decision but the move triggered condemnation at home and overseas, as did Friday's news that the national comptroller had banned politician Henrique Capriles - seen as the opposition's best hope in a presidential election scheduled for next year - from office for 15 years.

"The repression is not an invention of the media".

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