Opposition vows to continue protests to oust Maduro
LEADERS of the Venezuelan rightwing opposition say they will continue their protests on the streets of Caracas to force the ousting of President Nicolas Maduro.
Henrique Capriles, a representative of the Justice First party, called on his followers to “resist” in the focal points that had seen violence and vandalism in the past weeks.
Capriles said one of the fundamental requirements for the opposition to abandon street protests was for the democratically-elected government of Maduro to schedule elections despite the fact that Maduro’s term does not end until 2019.
Venezuela’s Vice-President Tareck El Aissami indicated that the opposition was trying to depict Venezuela as a country in chaos to justify foreign intervention.
“We know there are groups interested in selling the world a country in chaos. Henrique Capriles has said in an irresponsible manner that the government is guilty of these deaths and therefore will have to prove these serious allegations in court.”
He said there was evidence that right-wing National Assembly Deputy Freddy Guevara led hooded demonstrators, adding that such acts of violence were also promoted by National Assembly leader Julio Borges.
Right-wing leaders had called a demonstration in the hopes of toppling the Bolivarian government but failed when pro-government forces came out in defence of the country’s sovereignty.
The public ministry appointed three prosecutors to investigate two deaths that occurred: Carlos Moreno in Caracas and Paola Andreina Ramirez in Tachira state.
In addition, a national guard member was reportedly shot dead during violent protests by the opposition in the Los Salias municipality in Miranda state.
In the Tachira case, an opposition protester identified as Ivan Pernia was detained in the shooting death of the young woman.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration was closely watching the political situation in Venezuela, accusing Maduro’s government of silencing the opposition.
“We are concerned that the government of Maduro is violating its own constitution and is not allowing the opposition to… organise in a way that expresses the views of the Venezuelan people,” Tillerson said.
The remarks come a day after the US State Department warned: “Those responsible for the criminal repression of peaceful democratic activity ... will be held individually accountable.”
Supporters of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, clad in red, and opposition supporters argue in Caracas.