At least two dead in Venezuelan protests, opposition calls for new demonstrations

Venezuelan opposition marches against Maduro; one student killed
  • Venezuelan opposition marches against Maduro; one student killed
  • EFE

CARACAS.- The Venezuelan opposition MUD alliance called new anti-government demonstrations for later this week, instructing protesters to gather at the same places and at the same time they congregated on Wednesday to respond to the "repression" of the Nicolas Maduro administration.

"Tomorrow we call on all Venezuelans who mobilized (on Wednesday) and those who did not mobilize to mobilize, on all the millions of Venezuelans at the same places and at the same time of day," said two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles at a press conference.

The governor of the central state of Miranda, who spoke as the spokesman for MUD, lamented the deaths of two people in the course of the demonstrations on Wednesday and asked for "more Constitution and more democracy in the face of the savagery and repression" he alluded was being exerted by the government.

Meanwhile, some of the protests around the country on Wednesday turned violent, resulting in two deaths, one in Caracas and the other in Tachira, both victims killed by gunfire from unknown shooters and neither of whom were participating in the protests, according to preliminary information.

The anti-government demonstrations left at least 57 people injured, the opposition mayor of the capital's Chacao district said on the social networks, and more than 400 arrested, according to what the NGO Foro Penal Venezolano said.

Foro Penal director Alfredo Romero said that 16 of those arrests occurred in Caracas, 69 in Anzoategui state, 57 in Bolivar, 40 in Cojedes, 37 in Falcon, 16 in Barinas, 32 in Tachira, 31 in Carabobo and 24 in Portuguesa, adding that there were more arrests in other states.

Chacao Mayor Ramon Muchacho said that hospitals in his district attended to 57 people "coming from the demonstration," where protesters tried unsuccessfully to approach the Ombudsman's Office but were aggressively turned back by security forces.

Of those injured, he said that 33 showed multiple injuries, although only one of them was kept at the hospital for further treatment, 10 had suffered respiratory problems due to tear gas used by police and 14 had fainted or were suffering from anxiety.

"All of them are out of danger," he said in videotaped remarks posted on his Twitter account.

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