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Three Killed at Anti-Government Protests in Venezuela

21 April 2017, 09:33 | Terri Saunders

Three Killed at Anti-Government Protests in Venezuela

Demonstrators clash with riot police during the so-called mother of all marches against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on Wednesday

The opposition blames the deaths on security forces and alleged paramilitary groups.

Government supporters held opposing demonstration as backers dressed in red t-shirts and carried posters of popular late President Hugo Chavez, who governed from 1999 to 2013.

Demonstrators clash with police in Caracas in a massive protest again Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

An opposition demonstrator throws a petrol bomb while clashing with riot police during the so called "mother of all marches" against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Apr 19, 2017.

A pro-government politician and reservist, Diosdado Cabello, said on his television show that anti-Maduro activists had also "murdered" a soldier in San Antonio de los Altos, a town just south of Caracas, late April 19.

The much-heralded rallies began with opposing camps gathering on the streets of the capital, Caracas and other cities throughout Venezuela. And Maduro said he wanted to expand that force, which is now in the tens of thousands, to half a million and they should all have guns.

Some unhappy Venezuelans also steer clear of protests, fearful of violence, cynical that marches can bring about change, or too busy looking for food amid the recession. Tens of thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro flooded the streets of auto.

During what was referred to as "the mother of all marches" scuffles between security forces and protesters broke out, as the death toll rises to at least seven lives so far this month.

The factory seizure arose from an nearly 20-year-old lawsuit brought by a former GM dealership in western Venezuela. GM called it an illegal judicial seizure of its assets.

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Workers of General Motors listen during a meeting with government officials at the company's plant in Valencia, Venezuela, Thursday, April 20, 2017.

The president also signed orders on TV late Tuesday activating the "green phase" of enigmatic military plans to defend Venezuela against what he describes as USA -backed attempts to sow chaos and overthrow him. There was no immediate reaction from Washington or Venezuela's government. He said authorities had rounded up "conspirators".

He says US and other foreign companies operating in Venezuela "should have no illusions about the risks of doing business under the current regime". Protesters claim that Maduro is attempting to move the country away from democracy towards a dictatorship. Across the country, clashes have been intense as protests grow in size and fervor. Pro-government militias, some of whose members were armed, were blamed for the two deaths, including that of a teenager in Caracas who was heading to a soccer game with friends.

Two Venezuelan students and a National Guard sergeant have died after shots were fired during protests in Venezuela.

Venezuela's opposition renewed nationwide protests on Thursday to pressure the government of President Nicolas Maduro to hold elections and improve a collapsing economy, a day after three people were killed in similar demonstrations.

On Monday, 11 Latin American countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, called on Venezuela's government to respect the constitutional right to peaceful protest. Authorities, however, banned top opposition leader Henrique Capriles from public office for 15 years.

He also told them they needed to use all their political weaponry to combat the lies of Mr Maduro's "fascist" opponents.

Opposition leaders have called for the National Assembly's powers to be fully restored, for all political prisoners to be freed, for a humanitarian corridor to be opened and for stalled elections to take place.

REX TILLERSON, Secretary of State: We are concerned that the government of Maduro is violating its own Constitution and is not allowing the opposition to have their voices heard.

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