Chi­nese gear averts ca­su­al­ties:

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Venezuela’s na­tional guard com­man­der on Sun­day de­fended his forces in the face of crit­i­cism from rights ac­tivists and the op­po­si­tion, and said ri­ot­con­trol equip­ment supplied by China has averted ca­su­al­ties dur­ing a wave of mas­sive street protests.

At least 72 peo­ple have been killed since hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple took to the streets in protests that be­gan in April de­mand­ing elec­tions, the re­lease of op­po­si­tion pris­on­ers and call­ing on Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro to ac­cept foreign aid to al­le­vi­ate food and medicine short­ages.

The op­po­si­tion has crit­i­cized foreign sales of non-lethal se­cu­rity equip­ment to Maduro’s govern­ment, say­ing the gear is used to re­press protests and eats up funds that should be spent on food and medicine.

Gen­eral An­to­nio Be­na­vides, the na­tional guard com­man­der, said equip­ment such as ar­mored ve­hi­cles, wa­ter can­nons and tear-gas supplied by coun­tries in­clud­ing China helped pre­vent ca­su­al­ties and rights vi­o­la­tions. (RTRS)



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