Violence escalates in divided Venezuela

by
February 20, 2014

CARACAS | Venezuelan security forces and demonstrators faced off in streets blocked by burning barricades in several cities on Thursday in an escalation of protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government, witnesses said.

At least five people have died since the unrest turned violent last week, with scores of injuries and arrests.

The demonstrators, mainly students, blame the government for violent crime, high inflation, product shortages and alleged repression of opponents.

In affluent east Caracas overnight, security forces fired teargas and bullets, chasing youths who threw Molotov cocktails and blocked streets with burning trash, witnesses said.

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