Venezuelans Gear up For Major March Against President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelans gear up for major march against Maduro

Venezuelans gearing up for 'mother of all marches' against President Maduro

Hundreds of thousands of Opposition supporters flooded the streets of Caracas and Provincial cities on April 19, the latest and largest in several weeks of protests, -dubbed the "mother of all marches" - against what they condemn as the government's lurch toward dictatorship.

Rodriguez spoke Wednesday during a visit to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, referring to dueling opposition and pro-government marches being held the same day in the South American country.

Maduro, who along with his supporters called for the countermarch, had deployed the Venezuelan armed forces to the streets on Sunday night amid rising tensions.

Citing witnesses in Caracas, Reuters reports that Carlos Moreno, a teenage student who had not planned to join the demonstration, was shot in the head after "government supporters approached an opposition gathering and fired shots".

Later in the day a 23-year-old woman named Paola Ramirez was also shot and killed by pro-government groups, according to The Associated Press.

Local journalist Cody Weddle said the city was "really militarised" as security forces prevented protesters from reaching downtown. In February, Trump met with the wife of a jailed opposition leader at the White House and on Tuesday the U.S. State Department issued a statement decrying violence against protesters. He said he was "anxious" to see elections take place sometime "soon" and repeated his call for dialogue, saying he had a proposal he wanted to make the opposition.

We are willing to negotiate with all the opposition sectors that wish to work to achieve social stability, to build a peaceful environment in which it is possible to diversify and develop our economy in the interest of all Venezuelans, said the head of State.

Maduro said this week that he would increase the size of a citizen militia that supports the government to 500,000 members and give each cadet a gun.

Opposition leaders urged demonstrators to remain out on the streets despite the heavy police tear gas assault against them.

"Today there were millions of us", he told a news conference late on Wednesday. We are many more.

MARGARET WARNER: The oil-rich nation is also mired in an economic crisis, with skyrocketing, triple-digit inflation, rampant crime and food shortages.

"I participate in these protests, out of a sense of responsibility for being Venezuelan".

"We are extremely concerned that Rosneft's control of a major U.S. energy supplier could pose a grave threat to American energy security", the six senators wrote in an April 4 letter to the U.S. Treasury secretary.

The most recent protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro started in Venezuela after the country's Supreme Court attempted to take on the legislative functions of the country's National Assembly, controlled by the opposition. Although she doesn't expect change overnight, she said protesting is the only option the opposition has after what she says are scores of abuses committed by the government. We are the majority.

Officially known as the Venezuelan National Bolivarian Militia, it is a branch of the National Armed Forces of Venezuela created by the late President Hugo Chavez.

In advance of today's protests, the region's eyes were on Venezuela.

Socialist officials dismissed the opposition marches as efforts to destabilise the government, pointing to barricades of burning trash mounted by protesters and vandalism of public property. "We're marching for the freedom of our country".

The United States is closely watching the political situation in Venezuela and is anxious the government of President Nicolas Maduro is working to silence the opposition, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday.

The opposition rejected his comments as a desperate attempt to intimidate Venezuelans from exercising their constitutional right to protest.

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