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Venezuela Protesters Block Streets While Voicing Anger for Government

Image: Venezuela Protesters Block Streets While Voicing Anger for Government

By Morgan Chilson   |   Monday, 24 Feb 2014 05:56 PM

Demonstrators protesting the Venezuelan government set fires and blocked streets Monday in Caracas and other cities as they voiced anger about the the country's crime rate and economic difficulties.

Opponents to President Nicolas Maduro started protesting in mid-February, Voice of America reported. More than 11 people have died and 130 have been injured in the protests.

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"We're fighting for our liberty," Yesenia Alvarado, a 29-year-old architect, told USA Today. "This is brutal but we've got to paralyze the city. Sadly, we have to use these techniques to overthrow the government."

Protesters banged pots and pans, halting traffic as they demanded that the government address crime, food shortages, and a poor economy.

One former Maduro supporter, Tachira Gov. Jose Vielma Mora, was the first member of the president’s party to criticize him, USA Today said. Tachira has been a hotbed of rioting among college students.

"I'm not part of the regime,'' Mora said in an interview with Onda Radio, USA Today reported. "I was elected by the citizens of Tachira."

Maduro tried to rally support for his government, and said, “Venezuela is facing a Fascist coup d'etat. This is being waged by the extreme right," USA Today reported.

Maduro became president about 10 months ago when Hugo Chavez died. He has been vocal about the protesters, and USA Today reported that he called them “Nazi fascists.”

Henrique Capriles Radonski, head of the country’s largest opposition party, may meet with Maduro and other governors for talks, USA Today said. Capriles has begun using the word “genocide” on Twitter to describe what Maduro is doing in Venezuela.

About 300 protesters in the United States held signs and made their voices heard in Florida on Saturday, standing up for their friends and families in Venezuela, CNN reported.

“Although I am not in my country with them protesting with them now, I must help them somehow,” Lola Gomez told CNN.

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