Venezuelans gear up for major march against Maduro

Tens of thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro flooded the streets of Caracas amid confusion and tear gas Wednesday for what they've dubbed the "mother of all marches" against the embattled socialist leader.

More than three million people in Caracas and many others in different parts of the Venezuelan territory responded Wednesday to the attempts of external aggression denounced by the government.

In the midst of the protests on April 19, General Motors announced that it will stop its operations in Venezuela.

He didn't provide any evidence to back up the coup claims, and the opposition rejected them as desperate attempt to intimidate Venezuelans from exercising their constitutional right to protest. The opposition says he has morphed into a dictator and accuses his government of using armed civilians to spread violence and fear.

The government has responded to the near-daily protests with its own show of force: jailing hundreds of demonstrators, barring Capriles from running for office and standing by as pro-government groups violently attack opposition members of congress.

Right-wing leaders had called today's demonstration in hopes of toppling the Bolivarian government but failed when pro-government forces also came out in defense of the country's sovereignty.

Reverol said Thursday that Paola Ramirez was killed on Wednesday by a member of Vente Venezuela, a party led by high-profile opposition leader Maria Corina Machado.

Capriles, who Deutsche Welle calls "the opposition's most promising candidate for the coming elections in 2018", was banned last week from holding office for 15 years - a move Capriles says he does not recognize.

Hours after the start of marches by the opposition and a counter rally by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's public ministry said it had started an investigation into the shooting of a 17-year-old boy who was struck in the head an hour into the march in Caracas.

She said: "This is like a chess game and each side is moving whatever pieces they can". "I left her on a block where she was going to find her sister and I went to hide the bike".

Jorban Contreras, a paramedic and director of the civil protection unit in Tachira, said the woman lost a lot of blood and was already dead from a gunshot wound to her chest when he arrived.

Two Venezuelan students and a National Guard sergeant have died after shots were fired during protests in Venezuela. People vomiting on the street from the gas.

Elections are not due until 2019, but the opposition said the country was on the verge of collapse. "There are a lot of people in the opposition and they are full of courage".

The three killings bring to eight the death toll since protests began three weeks ago over the Supreme Court's decision to strip the opposition-controlled congress of its last remaining powers, a move that was later reversed amid a storm of worldwide criticism. There have been large food shortages and also triple-digit inflation in the country, which has led to the unrest with its people.

Protesters gathered at one of Caracas' main highways.

The third fatality was a national guardsman killed by a sniper during protests in Miranda state, according to human rights ombudsman Tarek Saab. The protests trailed off with youths throwing rocks squaring off against security forces spraying tear gas. Chavez himself survived a brief coup in 2002, and accused the United States of trying to subvert him.

Mr Maduro ordered troops onto the streets of Caracas before the rally and called on his supporters to attend. He appeared on Wednesday afternoon on national television saying that the corrupt and interventionist right-wing had been defeated. "We've triumphed again! Here we are, governing, governing, governing with the people!" he added, before breaking into song.

  • Elsie Buchanan