Massive anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Massive anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Massive anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Thousands of protesters decrying President Nicolas Maduro and demanding new elections have faced off with security forces in the capital Caracas.

Opposition leaders slammed the government for arbitrary use of force in breaking up yesterday's demonstrations. 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. "The canisters that we pick up after the protests were finished were expired in 2015 and there's no way of knowing if those gases have toxic effects".

"These extremist sectors promote violent acts during the days that our people celebrate Holy Week, thus taking on the role of anti-Christ", Reverol said in a televised statement. He said his son had "bad luck" to be caught in the melee.

Prosecutors said on Tuesday that Daniel Queliz had died earlier in the day in the northern city of Valencia.

They also want a referendum on removing Maduro from power.

Protesters are complaining about the risen corruption rates and the shortages of medicines and food. The freedom of assembly is a universal human right which the Venezuelan authorities must respect.

On Saturday, thousands demonstrated against a ban from politics imposed on opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

The opposition's demands include that authorities set a date for gubernatorial elections that have been postponed indefinitely. The opposition has been rallying on the streets for two weeks in protest of several ruling by the Supreme Court to take over duties of parliament.

"That's the only way there will be peace in Venezuela", president of the National Assembly Julio Borges said. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

Officials also used the protest to garner support in rejecting the opposition's continued call for protest.

Associated Press writer Christine Armario in Bogota, Colombia, contributed to this report.

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