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21 April 2017, 03:21 | Terri Saunders
Venezuela crisis: Opposition holds 'mother of all protests'
Two protesters were killed, according to human rights groups, including 17-year-old Carlos Moreno. There were no other details immediately available. Energy Minister Luis Motta Dominguez said the boy was killed during an attempted assault.
"Those responsible for the criminal repression of peaceful democratic activity ... will be held individually accountable for their actions by the Venezuelan people and their institutions, as well as the global community", the statement read.
Like a half-dozen times previously, their progress was blocked by light-armoured vehicles and a curtain of tear gas and rubber bullets fired by riot police officers. "When they took the young man to (a nearby clinic), the government supporters left". His loyalist-backed Supreme Court tried to strip the opposition-led National Assembly of its powers, but quickly reversed course after severe public outcry.
MARGARET WARNER: The oil-rich nation is also mired in an economic crisis, with skyrocketing, triple-digit inflation, rampant crime and food shortages.
Protestors have taken to the streets in recent weeks after Maduro's administration barred opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding any political office for the next 15 years.
According to a survey by polling firm Venebarometro, seven in 10 Venezuelans disapprove of Maduro, whose term does not end until 2019.
Her face was covered in a white substance to protect herself from the nauseous effects of what she expects will be another day of dodging tear gas canisters.
Machuca said during Wednesday's march says she doesn't expect change overnight, but believes that protesting is her only option after all the abuses she says have been committed by the government. "We'll see who tires out first". "We again urge demonstrators to express themselves non-violently", Toner said.
Clashes have broken out in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, where hundreds of thousands of people held rival protests amid rising tensions over a deepening political crisis.
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A Venezuelan teenager who was shot in the head near anti-government protests in the capital has died.
The photos below, many of them from Wednesday, show the intensity with which Venezuelans have taken to the streets in recent days.
In the state department statement titled, "Non-Violence and Accountability During Protests in Venezuela", the USA also called for Venezuela "to hold prompt elections".
But the throngs of protesters weren't well-payed USA plants but Venezuelan citizens braving tear gas to protest a government that has overseen hyperinflation, food and medicine scarcity, years of recession, continually delayed elections, alleged vice presidential drug trafficking, and a president who seems unwilling or unable to respond to any of the above. "We have to stay out on the street", opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens said.
Protesters positioned themselves at 20 points in the historic center of Caracas were thousands of government supporter also gathered.
On Wednesday, the day Venezuela is celebrating its declaration of independence from Spain two centuries ago, he accused the opposition of fomenting violence and called for elections to "put conspirators and the interventionist right in their place". Opposition leaders also accuse the government of infiltrating marches with violent protesters as a way of discrediting them.
Maduro said this week that he would increase the size of a citizen militia that supports the government to 500,000 members and give each cadet a gun.
Opposition supporters protested in Caracas and other cities in what they called "the mother of all marches", denouncing Mr Maduro for eroding democracy and plunging the oil-rich economy into chaos. In a televised speech Tuesday night, Maduro ordered security forces to go on high alert, alleging - as he often does - that the opposition is colluding with the United States to overthrow him.
The remarks come a day after the U.S. State Department issued a statement warning the South American country, "Those responsible for the criminal repression of peaceful democratic activity. and for gross violations of human rights, will be held individually accountable for their actions by. the global community".
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