Three killed in Venezuela's 'mother of all protests'

President-elect Donald Trump arrives during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro's administration made a $500,000 donation to Donald Trump’s

Three killed in Venezuela's 'mother of all protests'

Tens of thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro flooded the streets of vehicle.

Capriles said that one of the fundamental requirements for the opposition to abandon street protests is for the democratically-elected government of Maduro to schedule general elections despite the fact the Maduro's term does not end until 2019 and that it runs contrary to what is established in the country's constitution.

The day before a US State Department statement headed "Non Violence and Accountability During Protests in Venezuela", the US government encouraged "demonstrators to express themselves non-violently". The latest deaths bring the number killed to at least eight, with many more injured.

Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos repeated Wednesday that Venezuela's "Bolivarian revolution" had failed after years of trying to maintain a cordial relationship with the troubled neighbor. The Detroit automaker described Wednesday's takeover by Venezuelan authorities as an illegal judicial seizure of assets.

Later that day, the government also seized General Motors' plant in Venezuela. It also has 79 dealers that employ 3,900 people, and its parts suppliers make up more than half of Venezuela's auto parts market, the company said.

Two people were shot dead as opponents of President Nicolas Maduro flooded the streets of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities Wednesday, battling security forces in what's been dubbed the "mother of all marches" against the embattled socialist leader.

In Washington, administration officials are anxious the Venezuela government is working to suppress the opposition.

"This is a test case for Trump", said Raul Gallegos, a Bogota-based analyst at Control Risks consultancy. The defence minister claimed this was ordered in response to an external threat following the declaration from the US that Venezuela was being considered a "national security threat".

Thousands of protesters yesterday took to the streets, led by opposition figurehead and former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, calling for "new presidential elections and the release of jailed opposition politicians", the BBC reports.

Tens of thousands of protesters made an unsuccessful attempt to march to downtown Caracas as security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd.

Across the country, the clashes have been intense. Caracas-based newspaper El Nacional reported that a 19-year-old was shot in the head by presumed government supporters known as "colectivos" early in the morning and the opposition alliance posted images on its Twitter account of tear gas being set off in some areas of western and central Caracas.

MARGARET WARNER: These latest protests erupted last month, after the pro-government Supreme Court took over the powers of the national legislature controlled by the opposition.

The "mother of all protests" rally, which started Wednesday, was organized by Venezuela's opposition coalition, called the Democratic Unity Roundtable.

Maduro's opposition is also demanding new elections, which were indefinitely postponed past year - mere months after Maduro also canceled a recall referendum that could have ousted him from power. The opposition sees the government measures as turning Venezuela into a almost full-blown dictatorship.

In recent days, Maduro ordered troops to fan out around the country on high alert, and he encouraged his backers, including civilian militia members, to defend against alleged plans to overthrow his government.

Supporters of the government are holding a rival rally in Caracas. Over 400 people were arrested during protests on Wednesday, rights group Penal Forum said. It was unclear how many people remained in custody.

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