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Death toll rises in Venezuelan protests against Maduro

Death toll rises in Venezuelan protests against Maduro

Venezuela's opposition Sunday urged the armed forces to consider dialogue, despite its loyalty to embattled President Nicolas Maduro in the country's deadly political crisis.

Opposition leaders and mothers marched in Caracas on Mother's Day using the hashtag #SueltaTuArma, or "put down your weapons", in an appeal to members of Venezuela's National Guard and police not to engage in violence against protesters.

Diego Hernandez, 33, and Luis Alviarez, 18, were killed in separate demonstrations, officials said.

Elsewhere in Tachira, demonstrators threw rocks and set an armoured truck on fire.

The nationwide anti-government demonstrations launched 45 days ago have turned violent in some cases, with the toll now standing at 39 dead, hundreds injured and more than 2,000 people arrested.

More than three dozen people have been killed, hundreds injured and as many as 2,000 arrested in almost seven weeks of demonstrations.

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"There is really a central issue here: President Maduro and his party trying to cling to power and strengthen their hold on power in a way the opposition parties say is illegal", Holman said. Polls show the great majority of Venezuelans want Maduro gone as violent crime soars and the country falls into economic ruin.

The European Union on Monday called for elections in its most outspoken statement yet on the Venezuela crisis.

People sit under images of the Pope during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017.

As demonstrations take over Caracas nearly daily, normal life has continued, but the atmosphere is suffused with tension and uncertainty.

At fancy cafes, patrons show each other the latest videos of student protesters getting hurt or statues of the late President Hugo Chavez on their phones.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Chaos erupted in western Venezuela during another round of protests against the socialist government, with buildings set afire, tear gas swirling around protesters and at least two people killed. Rather, in a statement released Monday, the global organization declared that "fundamental rights of the Venezuelan people must be respected, including the right to peacefully demonstrate". A group of flamenco dancers dressed in black performed for the crowds.

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He has pledged to resolve the nation's woes by convening a special assembly to rewrite the constitution - a move his opponents see as an attempt to buy time and cling to power.

On Monday, protesters stayed on Caracas' main roads for six hours, then began to disperse under a heavy rain in late afternoon.

"We are against this fraudulent process", Capriles said on his radio broadcast.

A 27-year-old police officer is being charged in connection with Mr Hérnandez's death, the prosecutors' office announced on its Twitter account.

President Maduro has accused the leader of the opposition-led National Assembly, Julio Borges, of inciting violence by calling people on to the streets.

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