OAS to hold emergency meeting Wednesday on Venezuela crisis

Miranda GreerApr 27, 2017

Massive anti-government rallies have been held in Venezuela in recent weeks since Venezuela's Supreme Court stripped the opposition-controlled parliament of its powers. In an unusual move, Ortega Diaz broke with the government in the immediate days after the decision to denounce it as a "rupture" of the constitutional order.

The decision was later reversed amid a storm of global criticism - and from Ortega Diaz herself. But the opposition was further galvanized when authorities banned senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles from politics. Thousands of people shut down the capital city's main highway to express their disgust with the socialist administration of President Nicolas Maduro.

The latest deaths come amid a month of protests that have sparked politically-motivated shootings and clashes between security forces armed with rubber bullets and tear gas and protesters wielding rocks and Molotov cocktails. And there is no sign the government will allow the next presidential election, slated for late 2018, to be brought forward as the opposition demands.

"I want to make a call to political leaders to find the necessary ways to get out of this crisis that afflicts our beloved Venezuela", Dudamel said. "We talk of votes".

Saab already had publicly dismissed the possibility of trying the judges, and he reiterated that stance in a series of Tweets on Tuesday evening. She said an extensive ballistics investigation revealed Paola Ramirez was actually killed by a man who fired his gun from a building nearby.

Analysts say street protests are now one of the few levers the opposition has for change.

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. The Caracas gathering was largely peaceful, but Diaz Ortega said there had been four deaths around the country. While the country lacks food and medicine, the opposition strategy aims to force early general elections.

Political activists and Venezuelan media have reported more deaths, but those have not been confirmed.

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez says President Nicolas Maduro will send a letter Thursday to the Washington-based OAS renouncing its membership in the hemispheric body.

Earlier Tuesday, Maduro sang revolutionary ballads before delivering an address to supporters that didn't tone down his combative rhetoric.

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