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Deadly unrest in Venezuela as Trump donation revealed

Deadly unrest in Venezuela as Trump donation revealed

Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro took to the streets of Caracas, striving for their biggest show of force in months as they push against a government that has presided over the erosion of Venezuela's economy and democratic institutions.

But the throngs of protesters weren't well-payed USA plants but Venezuelan citizens braving tear gas to protest a government that has overseen hyperinflation, food and medicine scarcity, years of recession, continually delayed elections, alleged vice presidential drug trafficking, and a president who seems unwilling or unable to respond to any of the above.

(AP Photo/Fernando Llano). An anti-government protester wears a helmet during a break in clashes with security forces in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Authorities say a third person has died overnight in the ongoing protests in Venezuela.

At least one protester was shot Wednesday as "the mother of all marches" gathered momentum amid sporadic clashes and bursts of tear gas. Troops fired tear gas in Caracas neighborhoods and in the border city of San Cristobal.

"We want to get out of all this oppression and dictatorship, all the mistreatment we have had - the hunger, the kids dying in the countryside, the poverty", another protester, an unemployed school teacher named Libertad Diaz, told Phil.

The Associated Press reported the prosecutor's office is investigating the circumstances of Carlos Moreno's shooting, with one account saying the boy was hit by gunfire from pro-government militia and another contending he was attacked while walking home after a soccer match.

And in other parts of the city, security forces were trying to disperse the crowds with tear gas.

"This is exhausting - but we won't give up until we achieve a better country and democracy", Luiza Mayorca, a lawyer and mother of three, told NPR's Phil Reeves in Caracas.

A short block away from where the opposition was gathering, a sea of red-shirted government supporters marched by calmly, some dancing to a salsa band that tried to provide a dose of normalcy to an otherwise tense situation.

1 officer shot, killed, another injured in Paris, reports say
President Donald Trump offered condolences to the people of France during a joint news conference with the Italian prime minister. The shooting comes three days before French general elections and Paris was already in a state of heightened alert.

The two killings bring to seven the death toll since protests began three weeks ago over the Supreme Court's decision to strip the opposition-controlled congress of its last remaining powers, a move that was later reversed but not before enraging the opposition and causing a storm of global criticism.

The opposition is demanding early elections, the freeing of jailed politicians, humanitarian aid, and respect for the autonomy of the opposition-led legislature.

Tens of thousands of angry protesters converged from 26 different points spread across the capital to attempt to march downtown to the ombudsman's office.

MARGARET WARNER: Maduro has blamed the USA for trying to foment a coup.

US President Donald Trump has not said much publicly about the crisis in Venezuela.

Venezuela benefited for years from oil-fueled consumption and many poor citizens rose into the middle class.

There are few clear ways of identifying colectivos, who call themselves community groups but whom the opposition accuses of being violent paramilitary wings of the ruling Socialist Party.

Riding on high world oil prices, Chavez had created subsidies and price controls, raising living standards for the poor, but no longer. Snaking grocery lines are now a common sight and people routinely say they skip meals and can not find basic medication.

The elections council, which is sympathetic to the government, has delayed votes for state governors that were supposed to take place past year. In addition, a demonstration took place at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington. "We're poorer every day".


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