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Venezuela protesters target Maduro, vow to keep up pressure
13 April 2017, 01:41 | Ignacio Smith
Venezuelan bishops back anti-government protests, civil disobedience
In the latest clashes in the once-booming oil exporter, riot police in Caracas fired tear gas at stone-throwing demonstrators - whose leaders vowed not to let up the pressure on Maduro. Venezuelan Ombudsman Tarek William Saab reported Tuesday that seven offices of the institution he directs had been attacked "by violent groups" amid the opposition demonstrations.
The global community has responded with mixed opinions to Venezuela's current political turmoil, which has seen violent clashes between opposition demonstrators and state security forces in eastern Caracas.
While heated rhetoric and exaggerated claims are favorite tactics used on both sides of Venezuela's bitter political divide, the singling out of critics in such a forceful way by Maduro is frequently a prelude to legal action.
Lawmakers also said that an elderly woman asphyxiated to death in Caracas after tear gas entered her apartment during Monday's protests. He said 134 people remain detained, eight of whom he said are considered political prisoners.
On Friday, 7 April, the Venezuelan Comptroller General's office ordered that Capriles - a former presidential candidate - could not hold any public office for 15 years due to his "illicit administrative" practices when he was the governor of Miranda. Throssell urged the Venezuelan public to use peaceful means to make themselves heard and called on all parties involved to renounce violence.
The protests initially erupted on April 1 after the Supreme Court stripped congress of its last vestiges of power, a decision it later reversed.
On Saturday, thousands demonstrated against a ban from politics imposed on opposition leader Henrique Capriles.
Demonstrators covered their faces to protect against the plumes of tear gas that wafted through the streets of Caracas.
The move is not likely to have a major impact on the Venezuelan economy, which has already been crippled by shortages of food and medicine, power outages, and strikes.
On Monday alone, more than 200 people were injured, according to opposition reports. And a 19-year-old was shot dead in violence around protests on Thursday. But opposition leaders renewed calls to take to the streets, saying Maduro's words have no credibility until a full election timeline has been formally established.
The opposition's demands include that authorities set a date for gubernatorial elections that have been postponed indefinitely.
Maduro was meanwhile in Havana for a meeting of foreign ministers of the leftist ALBA bloc, a Latin American group co-founded by his late mentor, Hugo Chávez.
Venezuelans pour into Caracas streets in anti-Maduro protest
That looked unlikely to succeed since the removal of the judges depends on other state institutions loyal to the government. Bernal added that Capriles can't say later as a "sissy" that he's a political prisoner when he's persecuted by his remarks.
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