Students shot dead in march against Maduro
A demonstrator wearing a gas mask walks engulfed in a cloud of tear gas fired by riot police during an opposition march against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on April 19, 2017.
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans are taking part in fresh demonstrations in the capital Caracas and in more than 20 other cities, in what they are calling the "mother of all protests".
Opposition supporters protested in Caracas and other cities in what they called "the mother of all marches", denouncing Maduro for eroding democracy and plunging the oil-rich economy into chaos.
Venezuela braced for rival demonstrations Wednesday for and against President Nicolas Maduro, whose push to tighten his grip on power has triggered waves of deadly unrest that have escalated the country's political and economic crisis.
The mobilization comes as Maduro faces scrutiny overseas and within his own government after the country's top court last month tried to grab power from the opposition-controlled congress.
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. People vomiting on the street from the gas.
He didn't provide any evidence to back up the coup claims, and the opposition rejected them as desperate attempt to intimidate Venezuelans from exercising their constitutional right to protest.
Opposition marchers included Liliana Machuca, whose face was covered in a white, sticky substance to protect herself from the unsafe effects of tear gas.
Venezuela's public prosecutor, Luisa Ortega, a member of the ruling Socialist party who criticized the Supreme Court's power grab last month, urged state security forces to guarantee the right to protest peacefully.
The opposition counters that Maduro, deeply unpopular as Venezuelans grapple with triple-digit inflation and shortages of food and basic consumer goods, is seeking to stay in power indefinitely by barring opposition leaders from office and quashing independent state institutions.
PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO, Venezuela (through interpreter): The time for combat has arrived, my fellow patriots.
"Today there were millions of us", senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles told a news conference late Wednesday.
More than three million Venezuelans; 'the people of the liberators is giving a enormous lesson of conscience, ' president Maduro said in the act where he was clothed by an enthusiastic crowd.
"We have to protest because this country is dying of hunger said Alexis Mendoza, a 53-year-old administrator marching in the Caracas neighbourhood of El Paraiso". The protesters gathered at dozens of neighborhoods around Caracas, and attempted to march to the office of the state ombudsman, but were blocked by military forces as in previous attempts. He appeared on Wednesday afternoon on national television saying that the corrupt and interventionist right-wing had been defeated. It said that as of Monday, 241 people were being detained. "We've triumphed again! Here we are, governing, governing, governing with the people!" he added, before breaking into song.
Until the slums rise up, Maduro will likely hang on, analysts say.
San Cristobal Mayor Patricia Gutierrez has said that Ramirez was shot to death by people who appeared to be government supporters.
"I participate in these protests, out of a sense of responsibility for being Venezuelan".
The elections council, which is sympathetic to the government, has delayed votes for state governors which were supposed to take place previous year. Two demonstrators were killed, as a political crisis in this failing state deepens.
Jun 22 2016