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Barricades, arrests overnight as Venezuela protests spread to low-income areas

Barricades, arrests overnight as Venezuela protests spread to low-income areas

Anti-government protests in Venezuela have spread to the low-income neighbourhoods that were once supportive of leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela officials are confirming that a fifth person has died in a two-week old anti-government protest movement.

Dozens of people have been injured and more than 100 arrested over the past week in clashes in various cities, according to authorities.

The opposition had planned protests in more than 300 municipalities for Thursday, with the aim of diluting the power of government security forces.

The dire economic situation, which has threatened the country's political and social functions, came to a head previous year when an opposition campaign formed to demand a referendum vote on Maduro's rule.

Police fired water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators, who hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails, according to AFP.

Opposition lawmaker Alfonso Marquina on Twitter identified the latest death as Antonio Gruseny Calderon and called him "another victim of the dictatorship".

Marquina and officials earlier said a 13-year-old boy was shot dead in protests on Tuesday in the western city of Barquisimeto, in Lara state.




"People went into the streets last night because we are very upset", Wilfredo Martinez, who lives in the working-class neighbourhood of La Vega in Caracas, told the AP.

Many Venezuelans still worry protracted protests will not bring about political or economic change, but will just increase violence in the already volatile nation.

Caracas, April 12, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) -Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro placed a call Sunday for the National Electoral Council (CNE) to set a date for regional and municipal elections due this year.

"That's the only way there will be peace in Venezuela", said Julio Borges, president of the National Assembly.

However, the crisis deepened on Friday when authorities banned senior opposition figure Henrique Capriles from holding public office for 15 years, blocking him from running against Maduro in next year's election. "We can't find food and sick people can't find medicine". Opposition leaders are calling for the "mother of all marches" on 19 April.

The crisis has especially hurt the poor, long the base of support of Maduro and his predecessor the late Hugo Chavez. The Supreme Court later withdrew the ruling, but the move drew condemnation from Venezuelan opposition politicians and worldwide governments.

He says the economic crisis and efforts to get rid of him are a capitalist conspiracy.

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