Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan’s continue taking to the streets as the 50-days of protest against their government, and Nicolas Maduro. The movement is gaining more and more momentum despite the rising death toll.
Around 46 people have been killed, ranging from civilians to law enforcement, in the worst turmoil since Maduro took office in 2012. Street brawls are becoming more frequent as well as looting.
The people of Venezuela are fed up with the government’s practices, increased inflation, and shortages of everything from medicine to food as more and more of their basic rights are taken from them.
Major opposition marches took place across the oil-rich nation of 30 million on Saturday, with protesters in Caracas brandishing placards that read “No More dictatorship in Venezuela” while in the volatile border city of San Cristobal masked youths threw rocks, and a Reuters witness saw two protesters wielding machetes.
The Andean area near Colombia suffered a week of mayhem that included looting, prompting the government to send in 2,000 troops.
“We don’t want more deaths. We want salaries that mean something, and medicines. The government invests more in bullets and weapons than in food and education for this country,” said Maria Diaz, a 33-year-old lawyer standing in the torrential rain in front of security forces with some 8,000 other protesters in San Cristobal.
Opposition protesters say the government is trying to maintain its grip on power despite the economic crisis. More than 2,600 protesters have been arrested across the country, more than a third of whom remain detained, according to a local rights group.
The government, which says protesters are trying to foment a coup beneath pro-democracy rhetoric, held a counter-march in Caracas, with thousands of red-clad supporters singing and dancing. Officials frequently pop up on state television with photos of vandalized stores and blocked roads that they blame on the opposition.