Clashes kill five as Venezuela crisis deepens ahead of vote
Clashes between security forces and demonstrators in Venezuela killed five people during the latest opposition-led strike to protest Sunday’s election, according to which critics will mark the end of democracy in the oil country.
As the Venezuelan crisis has deepened, Colombian airline Avianca canceled its operations in the country on Monday and the US State Department said it ordered members of the United States family of employees at its embassy in Caracas to Leave before the vote.
The controversial election of the Constituent Assembly is scheduled for July 30. Critics of President Nicolas Maduro who plan to increase pressure on the most unpopular leader have stopped organizing a major event called “The Recovery of Venezuela” Friday.
“If yesterday and today the streets were empty, tomorrow, we must support all of Venezuela,” said opposition lawmaker Freddy Guevara, referring to an attack on the government two days began Wednesday.
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol warned that demonstrations were banned from Friday until Tuesday, which has opened the volatility of violence in Venezuela. Many Venezuelans are nervous food and are busy and stay at home.
On Thursday, the US State Department also authorized the voluntary departure of US government employees at its embassy in Caracas.
President Donald Trump has warned that his government could impose economic sanctions on Venezuela if Maduro continues to vote to create a legislative supermarket known as the Constituent Assembly.
The Constituent Assembly has the power to rewrite the Constitution and stop the current legislature, led by the opposition, the opposition maintains, would consolidate the dictatorship in Venezuela.
At least 108 people were killed in riots against the government that convulsed Venezuela since April, when the opposition launched protests calling for free and fair elections to end nearly two decades of socialist rule.
Venezuela, Venezuelan politics, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela Maduro, world news, Venezuela protesters throw an improvised explosive at a demonstration during a strike to protest against the government of Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela. (Source: Reuters)
Many streets remained barricaded and abandoned on Thursday as the nationwide strike came on its second day. Many rural and urban areas of the working class were encouraged, however, and the strike seemed less massively supported one on trial day last week.
With Venezuela already overflowing with closed businesses and factories in the midst of a four-year recession, the effectiveness of any attack can be difficult to measure. Many Venezuelans are living the hand to the mouth and say they have to keep working.
In Barinas, the home state of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, only a third of businesses were closed as a witness to Reuters, as opposed to a formal opposition estimate of 92 percent. 100 participation throughout the country.