Venezuela braces for new protest in wave of unrest

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CARACAS: Venezuela braced for new marches on Saturday against President Nicolas Maduro, after the death toll climbed to 20 in three weeks of violence at protests demanding the leftist leader’s ouster. The opposition called for protesters to march in silence to the Catholic Church’s episcopal seats nationwide in a show of condemnation of Maduro’s government. It will be a test of the authorities’ tolerance for peaceful protests, after days of running battles pitting riot police and pro-government vigilantes against protesters hurling stones and Molotov cocktails. The last protests, on Thursday, descended into a night of riots and looting that left 12 people dead in Caracas. After Saturday’s show of silent defiance, the center-right opposition plans to return to a more confrontational strategy on Monday, when it is calling for Venezuelans to block roads in a bid to grind the country to a halt.

AFP

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