On 5/22/2017 2:36 AM, jat wrote: only part of the story in order to
direct and mislead people.
"Venezuela protests: 200,000 march against President Maduro as riots and
looting spread across country
James Rothwell Harriet Alexander Anna Schaverien
21 May 2017 • 3:33pm
More than 200,000 Venezuelans took to the streets to mark the 50th day
of protests against President Nicolas Maduro, as the country struggles
with dire food shortages.
Clashes broke out in the eastern district of Caracas, the Venezuelan
capital, as protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at police, who
responded with tear gas.
Mr Maduro's critics say he is to blame for the country's crippled
economy, which has led to widespread protests, street looting and
rioting over the past seven weeks, leaving at least 47 people dead.
More than 40 protesters have been injured during the protests in Caracas
alone, with one woman reportedly mowed down by a car and another
engulfed in flames after a police motorbike exploded.
In the western city of San Cristobal in Tachira state, Mr Maduro
deployed around 2,700 soldiers to quell the violence after 40,000 people
took to the streets.
With supplies of food, medicine, soap and even toilet paper run out,
protesters are demanding early elections to remove Mr Maduro, who took
over the from Hugo Chavez in 2013.
Inflation rates are also soaring, with prices set to rise by 720 per
cent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF.)
Maduro to Trump: 'Get your dirty hands out of Venezuela'
It comes amid an escalating war of words between the Venezuelan leader
and Donald Trump, who hit the ailing socialist government with sanctions
Mr Maduro furiously responded that Mr Trump should "get his dirty hands
out of Venezuela," claiming that "President Trump's aggressions against
the Venezuelan people, its government and its institutions have
surpassed all limits."
And on Sunday, Marcio Rubio, the Republican senator, urged Mr Maduro to
hold elections as "breaks" began to form in his government.
"Maduro is not a president, he's a dictator right now. They've cancelled
the constitution, tried to dictate the national assembly.
"And what I would say is: stick to the constitution that Chavez wrote.
They are meant to have an election. Hold an election.
"Any free and fair election in Venezuela – there is no way Maduro will
win. We are beginning to see breaks. The attorney general, she is
"Hopefully there will be people in the military who will refuse to
cooperate with these human rights violations that are continuing to take
Police accused of shooting protesters
Hundreds have been injured during the 50 days of protests, while 2,200
people have been detained, and 161 have been imprisoned by military
A recent survey found that as many as 70 per cent of Venezuelans want to
see Mr Maduro removed from power as he increasingly relies on military
support to cling onto power.
He recently announced plans for a "popular assembly" that would rewrite
parts of the constitution, but this only enraged protesters further.
They claim the assembly is a ploy to avoid holding elections, while Mr
Maduro said they would offer " a path to peace, dialogue and consensus."
He insisted that elections wold go ahead next year, as required by law.
Expert: Country on brink of civil war
Dr Natalia Sobrevilla-Perea, reader in Hispanic studies at Kent
University, said: "Venezuela is at the brink of breaking into civil war.
"There have been protests going on for months, but they have been
simmering and now we are reaching breaking point.
"Those who have been protesting for 18 months tended to be from the
opposition. Those joining now are realising they no longer support the
"In the last two weeks the situation has deteriorated very rapidly. In
the next week, it will continue to deteriorate very quickly unless some
possible solution is found."
She said there was no clear easy solution to the crisis due to Mr
Maduro's tight grip on the military.
"Maduro is supported by a very strong army who control the distribution
of food stuff and the economy," she said.
"The army still has all the resources under control. There is a fear of
repercussion if he [Maduro] is ousted: if they fall, they all fall
together. They are still reaping the benefits. If you are part of the
regime, you do not have food shortages and you do not have problems.
"There has been a lot of support [for Maduro] from Ecuador, Cuba, and
Bolivia. But it is less likely that it continues with dead people on the
"The most hopeful possibility is negotiated action. Help is needed from
Cuba and Colombia to try and find some dialogue.""