A week of protests in Venezuela resulted in the deaths of three people and more than 20 injured Wednesday, leaving President Nicolas Maduro in a struggle to restrain discontent among opposition groups and radical elements of his Chavista movement.
The Guardian reports:
Initially sparked by unrest over soaring inflation, rising crime and the arrests of student protesters, the demonstrations in Merida, Tachira and Anzoategui have escalated into deadly clashes between opposition activists and pro-government Chavista militias known as colectivos.
The president of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, said the first killing was of a colectivo member in downtown Caracas during an opposition march.
Cabello blamed the opposition for the murder and assured the colectivos that those responsible would feel the full weight of the law. But tellingly, he also appealed to the armed groups not to take matters into their own hands. “Remain calm and sane,” he urged in a televised address. “We ask you to trust us.”