Caracas (AFP) – A top Venezuelan opposition figure called on Saturday for more marches aimed at taking back the courts and the National Electoral Council that he said had been “hijacked” by President Nicolas Maduro.
Freddy Guevara urged people to protest on Monday — May 1 or May Day, a traditional workers’ holiday — with marches to the Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council’s offices.
“We want to summon all Venezuelans, across the country’s 24 states, to hit the dictatorship with a one-two punch,” Guevara said, evoking simultaneous peaceful marches in the two locations.
A month of demonstrations in April in Venezuela has left 28 people dead in clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters, according to prosecutors.
More than 400 people have been injured, and nearly 1,300 arrested, according to the attorney general.
The center-right-led opposition is demanding elections to remove Maduro, an elected socialist. It blames him for an economic crisis that has caused shortages of food, medicine and other basic items.
“On May 1, after a month of resistance, we need to show that the people refuse to give up,” Guevara said.
Rights group Amnesty International urged the government on Wednesday to stop the “persecution” and “arbitrary detention” of protesters.
<figure><figcaption>An opposition activist takes part in a protest march stopped by the National Guard 500 metres from the entrance to the Ramo Verde penitentiary in Los Teques, near Caracas, where opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez is imprisoned, on April 28, 2017 <span>Copyright AFP/File RONALDO SCHEMIDT</span> </figcaption></figure>