Venezuela opposition stages crisis protest march

It was the first coordinated street demonstration called by the opposition since Maduro launched a crackdown with the arrests of several of his opponents early this month.

Venezuela opposition stages crisis protest march

World Bulletin / News Desk

Rivals and allies of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rallied in the streets Monday as the opposition demanded early elections to oust him over the country's economic and political crisis.

The protest came amid high tension in the South American oil-exporting country, where food and medicine shortages have sparked riots and looting over recent months.

Security forces blocked around 2,000 opposition supporters from marching to the headquarters of the National Electoral Board in Caracas.

The area was the scene of scuffles in demonstrations last year but no major incidents were reported on Monday.

Similar marches were called across the country by the opposition MUD coalition.

"I came because I want elections to be held," said Dora Valero, a 63-year-old retired nurse who marched in eastern Caracas.

"It is the best way to get rid of this government that has gotten us into such a bad situation."

Several thousand supporters of Maduro dressed in red gathered elsewhere in central Caracas.

They defended Maduro and the socialist "revolution" launched by his predecessor Hugo Chavez.

"The people are in the street supporting the president," said one demonstrator, Pedro Camargo. "We will not let them end our revolution."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Ocak 2017, 00:04