Tensions soar in Venezuela as protest death toll hits 29

Amid another day of nationwide opposition rallies, the worst trouble in Caracas on Wednesday occurred when National Guard troops and police blocked off a highway where several thousand demonstrators were marching downtown.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

Demonstrators build a fire barricade on a street during a rally against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, April 24, 2017.

A 20-year-old male demonstrator died in the latest clashes between protesters and security forces in Venezuela, said officials of the city's eastern Chacao district.

The death toll from this month's anti-government unrest hit at least 29 after the latest casualties.

Authorities also announced two new fatalities from clashes earlier this week: a 22-year-old who received various gunshot wounds at a protest in the city of Valencia, and a 28-year-old government supporter shot in the stomach in Tachira state.

The wave of protests since early April against socialist President Nicolas Maduro have sparked Venezuela's worst violence since 2014.

Demonstrators want elections to end the socialists' two-decade rule, but the South American nation's brutal economic crisis is also fuelling anger.

The Organisation of American States has called for a meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

TRT World spoke with Matthew Brown, at the University of Bristol. 

TRTWorld and agencies