Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Two people killed during anti-government protests in Venezuela

In response to Wednesday's massive protests, which had always been in the works, Al Jazeera reports Maduro ordered the Venezuelan military to march in Caracas in "defense of morality" and "in repudiation of the traitors of the country".

Security forces used tear gas to disperse the anti-government demonstrators who had gathered in the hundreds of thousands in Caracas for a protest dubbed the "mother of all marches".

Maduro says recent protests have been little more than opposition efforts to foment violence and topple his government.

At a counter march of government supporters downtown, Energy Minister Luis Motta Dominguez told lines of protesters that reports about the young man were false.

The protest followed a fortnight of violent protests, in which five people have been killed, triggered by a Supreme Court decision in March to assume the powers of the opposition-led Congress - which it quickly reversed under global pressure.

The opposition will congregate at more than two dozen meeting points around Caracas and attempt to converge on the office of the state ombudsman, a guarantor of human rights.

That move was later reversed amid overwhelming worldwide rebuke and even a rare instance of public dissent in the normally disciplined ruling elite.

That move was later reversed, but it had the added effect of energising Venezuela's fractious opposition, which had been struggling to channel growing anger against Maduro over widespread food shortages and triple-digit inflation.

Since then, people have been protesting for the removal of the Supreme Court Justices, the reinstatement of gubernatorial and local elections, the release of the political prisoners and ultimately, Maduro's resignation.

New administrations in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru notably started speaking up more about Venezuela in the a year ago, in particular calling for the government to restore democratic order and hold regional elections. But you'd never be able to tell from the information published by Venezuelan official sources - including the vice-president, Telesur, and VTV - that have been reporting exclusively on pro-government rallies in which large numbers of people participated, including some who sing and dance "in defense of peace". Maduro, for his part, says it's the opposition that has turned to looting and violence and is bent on ousting him before his term ends in 2019.

The Opposition called for renewed nationwide protests to pressure the government of to hold elections and improve a collapsing economy. Mr.

"This was supposed to be a happy moment but instead I came home to see my brother die", said Sojo, who grew up in the Romero home and returned Tuesday from Ecuador, where he had been living the past year. "They don't have anything else to lose", Beatrice Alavera said. "We need something new", Eduardo Ortiz said.

They included state workers like Leidy Marquez, who was bused in from Tachira state on the other side of teh country.

"Same place, same time", said the opposition leader last night.

"We are concerned that the government of [President Nicolas] Maduro is violating the Constitution", said Tillerson.

He has also warned that an opposition government would slash social benefits like healthcare for the poor and subsidized food.

Maduro this week said he was dramatically expanding civilian militias created by the late Hugo Chavez and giving each member a gun.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - General Motors announced Thursday amid Venezuela's ongoing protests that it was no longer doing business in the country after authorities seized its only factory in the South American nation.

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