Tens of thou­sands of Venezue­lans march against gov­ern­ment

Truro Daily News - - WORLD -

Tens of thou­sands of op­po­nents of Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro flooded the streets of Cara­cas amid con­fu­sion and tear gas Wed­nes­day for what they’ve dubbed the “mother of all marches” against the em­bat­tled so­cial­ist leader.

Clashes be­tween protesters, po­lice and gov­ern­ment sup­port­ers started early. Shortly af­ter the march kicked off, state se­cu­rity forces fired tear gas at some pock­ets of protesters. Op­po­si­tion lead­ers also said a young man was shot in the head at a protest and rushed to the hos­pi­tal. Jour­nal­ists waited out­side the clinic for re­ports on his con­di­tion.

At a counter march of gov­ern­ment sup­port­ers down­town, En­ergy Min­is­ter Luis Motta Dominguez told lines of protesters that re­ports about the young

man were false. Dominguez said the man had been as­saulted, but was on his way back from a soc­cer game and was not par­tic­i­pat­ing in the protests.

He warned sup­port­ers that they would have to use all their po­lit­i­cal tools to keep at bay what he said were the “fas­cist” op­po­nents of the so­cial­ist ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“We’re a peace­ful peo­ple, but we’re also armed,” he said.

Tens of thou­sands of protesters con­verged from 26 dif­fer­ent points spread across the capital to at­tempt to march down­town to the Om­buds­man’s of­fice. It’s a route tens of thou­sands of an­gry protesters have at­tempted a half-dozen times in the past few weeks only to find their progress blocked by light-ar­moured ve­hi­cles and a cur­tain of tear gas and rub­ber bul­lets fired by riot po­lice of­fi­cers.

At least five deaths have been blamed on the strong-armed re­sponse to protests that were trig­gered by the gov­ern­ment-stacked Supreme Court’s de­ci­sion three weeks ago to strip the op­po­si­tion-con­trolled congress of its last re­main­ing pow­ers af­ter a year-long power bat­tle.

AP PHOTO

A man walks past a burn­ing mo­tor­bike set on fire by protesters dur­ing an op­po­si­tion march in Cara­cas, Venezuela, yes­ter­day.

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