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Clashes continue between Venezuela police, protesters in Caracas

Huge protests continue rocking the Venezuelan capital of Caracas 60 days after people started taking to the streets with demands, including the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro.
Protesters armed with shields and golf clubs threw away gas canisters fired by security forces at them on the streets of Caracas on Tuesday. Police forces on motorbikes could be seen chasing protesters while firing tear gas.
Meanwhile, a demonstration was held in support of Maduro in Caracas.
A protester bats a tear gas canister with a golf club during clashes with police in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, May 31, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Anti-government demonstrations, which began in early April, were triggered by a decision by Venezuela’s Supreme Court to assume the powers of the opposition-controlled parliament in violation of the country’s constitution.
The decision was later revoked, but protesters continued to take to the streets across the country against the president, who is now convening a constituent assembly to write a new constitution, much to the chagrin of the protesters.
The Venezuelan opposition, which demands an early presidential election, has refused to participate in the assembly and called the plan “fraudulent.”
An opposition leader at the march on Tuesday, Miguel Pizarro, said they would not give up despite the government’s attempts to quell the movement.
Venezuelan riot police fires a tear gas canister at protesters, in Caracas, May 31, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
More than 50 people have so far been killed in the protests. At least 1000 were injured, and 2,700 others arrested.
The government says the protests are incited by the Unites Stated to remove President Maduro from power and has accused the opposition of hiring armed gangs. The opposition, too, has said the government has been using armed groups to intimidate them.
The country, which has the world’s largest oil reserves, now faces a severe hyperinflation and widespread shortages of basic supplies, including food and medicine.
The country’s Medical Federation says hospitals lack 98 percent of needed medical supplies. It says some 11,500 Venezuelan infants lost their lives before their first birthday and maternal mortality has risen to 65 percent.

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