Venezuela bans anti-government protests in capital

venezuela protestsVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday announced a ban on violent anti-government protests which have roiled the capital Caracas for a month.

Maduro said his government “will put the brakes on” protest marches organized by the right-wing opposition in the capital, because “Caracas is living in peace.”

The only solution to the political turmoil that has racked Venezuela since Feb. 12 is for the right-wing “to sit at a table” and negotiate, Maduro said in an interview with Colombia’s Radio Blu at the presidential office in Caracas.

“It would be irresponsible of us to let them march and — as has been happening, after the bulk of the marchers have left — have 300 violent groups left behind to burn and smash everything. And afterwards, when the public forces take action, they say that it’s government repression,” said Maduro.

According to Venezuelan media reports Tuesday, so far 22 people have died in the protests, though the official figure released late last week by the Prosecutor General put the number of deaths at 21.

Source: Xinhua

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