Deadly unrest grips Venezuela as students rally
CARACAS – Agence France-Presse
AFP photoA student was shot dead at a meeting in Venezuela May 4, prosecutors said, as anti-government protests raged in the streets.
Crowds of students clashed with riot police in the latest in a wave of unrest as the opposition vowed no respite in its drive to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro’s opponents accuse him of trying to strengthen his grip on power and delay elections by launching moves to rewrite the constitution.
According to the latest toll provided by prosecutors on May 4, 35 people have been killed in just over a month of protests against Maduro, whose opponents blame him for food shortages in the oil-rich nation.
News of the latest deaths came as organizers announced a women’s march to be held on May 6.
Protesters at the women’s rally, to take place in downtown Caracas, are urged to wear white, a traditional show defiance against what organizers have branded a “repressive” Maduro government.
The opposition wants a vote on removing Maduro from office.
The president, elected in 2013, says the crisis is a U.S.-backed capitalist conspiracy.
The opposition and government have accused each other of fomenting violence.
“I don’t know how long the protests are going to last,” senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles told AFP in an interview.
“If we were being violent, if we were not being democratic, we would already have toppled the government.”