Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Thousands of Opposition Women March in Venezuela against Repression

Thousands of Opposition Women March in Venezuela against Repression

Followers of President Nicolas Maduro, mostly militants of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), called for the march to be "for peace and life" and against "terrorism". This now marks five weeks of sustained protests against Maduro, whom opponents decry as a dictator who has ruined the economy.

Thousands of Opposition Women March in Venezuela against Repression Dressed in white and waving the Venezuelan flag, thousands of women gathered this Saturday at Brion Plaza in the east Caracas district of Chacaito with the intention of marching to the Interior and Justice Ministry downtown to demand that the government “stop the repression”.

An anti-government protester holds a sign with a photo of President Nicolas Maduro and a message that reads in Spanish: "Out!"

"In all of Trump's conversations with leaders in Latin America, the topic of Venezuela comes up - and it's raised by him", Borges said, adding that "this top-of-mind concern Trump has about Venezuela is very valuable for us".

The protests on Saturday come after some controversy surrounding the alleged arrest of 85 Venezuelan military officers for criticising Maduro's government - an announcement that was made by opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

On Friday, the government confirmed the death of Hecder Lugo, 20, who was injured Thursday during an opposition protest in the town of San Diego, Carabobo, bringing the total of deaths to 37 since large-scale protests broke out in early April.

"The dictatorship is living its last days and Maduro knows it", one former lawmaker in the Caracas march, Maria Corina Machado, told AFP.

During the march, local media broadcast a video of demonstrators on Friday toppling a statue of the late President Hugo Chávez in the western state of Zulia.

National guardsmen have repeatedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets in more than a month of anti-government protests. Others marched topless. One woman came in her wedding dress.

Local news media carried a video circulating on Twitter of the Chavez statue being pulled down.

Several young men could be seen bashing the statue that depicted the socialist hero standing in a saluting pose, as onlookers hurled insults as the late president.

The protest movement has drawn masses of people into the street almost every day since March, and shows no sign of slowing.

The U.S. administration of Donald Trump has threatened to impose additional sanctions on Venezuelan officials if the situation does not improve.

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