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Anti-Maduro Protesters Block Roads, Stage Sit-Ins

Anti-Maduro Protesters Block Roads, Stage Sit-InsAnti-Maduro Protesters Block Roads, Stage Sit-Ins

At least one person has died in renewed violence in Venezuela, as thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro staged sit-ins and roadblocks across the country in a seventh week of anti-government rallies.

Luis Alviarez, 18, was killed during protests in the western state of Tachira after being shot by gunfire in the thorax, prosecutors said, without giving further details.

That brought the death toll since the start of the protests to at least 39 people, BBC reported.

Demonstrators have been on the streets daily since early April to press for elections, blaming Maduro for an economic crisis that has caused severe shortages of food and medicine.

The president accuses protesters of seeking a violent coup and says he is the victim of an international rightwing conspiracy that has already brought down leftist governments in Brazil, Argentina and Peru in recent years.

The government and the opposition have blamed each other of sending armed groups to sow violence in the protests. Police have blocked marches with tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons, while protesters have hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails, vandalized property and started fires in a near-daily series of clashes.

On Monday, protesters stayed on Caracas’ main roads for six hours, then began to disperse under a heavy rain in late afternoon. Others vowed to stay rain or shine for the full 12 hours of the sit-in.

“I’m here for the full 12 hours. And I’ll be back every day there’s a protest, for as long as is necessary,” Anelin Rojas, a 30-year-old human resources worker, told Reuters.

“Unfortunately, we are up against a dictatorship. Nothing is going to change unless we force them,” Rojas added, surrounded by placards saying “Resistance!” and “Maduro, Your Time Is Up!”

Caption: Anti-Maduro protesters in Venezuela

 

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