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Venezuela mayor confirms 2nd death in protests


The opposition in Venezuela organized what they called the "mother of all marches" today, as thousands poured into the streets to demand that the government hold elections, release political prisoners, reestablish judicial independence and the powers of the National Assembly, and allow sufficient humanitarian aid into the country.

Carlos Romero, just three days away from his 18th birthday, was walking to play soccer with friends when he bumped into pro-government militias stalking a pocket of protesters, family spokesman Melvin Sojo told The Associated Press, based on the accounts of two people who rushed Romero to the hospital after he was hit by gunfire.

The opposition has repeatedly accused the government of sending groups of armed thugs to attack protesters.

We are willing to negotiate with all the opposition sectors that wish to work to achieve social stability, to build a peaceful environment in which it is possible to diversify and develop our economy in the interest of all Venezuelans, said the head of State.

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Pence will meet with Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo earlier in the day during his first trip to the country. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

At least five people have been killed and many more injured in clashes. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay on Monday signed a joint statement asking for the Venezuelan government "to guarantee the right to peaceful demonstration", and avoid violence against protesters.

Demonstrators clog a Caracas highway on Wednesday, shouting their resistance to President Nicolas Maduro. Troops fired tear gas in Caracas neighbourhoods, San Cristobal, the depressed industrial city of Puerto Ordaz, and the arid northern city of Punto Fijo. Private enterprise has a really hard time producing goods and services, which means we basically don't have them.

Venezuela's chief prosecutor said she is investigating the Wednesday shooting incident amid conflicting reports over the cause of death.

Demonstrators burn an effigy of President Nicolas Maduro during a protest in Caracas on April 19. The opposition charges that this is because the Socialist Party would be likely to fare poorly in such a vote. The US has also slapped sanctions on Maduro's vice president, Tareck El Aissami, for alleged drug trafficking.

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De todos modos, me encanta estar en un club tan ambicioso como este. "Es una noche para estar orgullosos". Aun así, claramente hemos hecho 14 disparos a portería y ninguno dentro de los tres palos.

The two killings bring to seven 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 but not before enraging the opposition and causing a storm of worldwide criticism. Capriles was seen as the opposition's best presidential hope in elections scheduled for late next year. Aerial photographs and news coverage showed what appeared to be tens of thousands of protestors in the capital, clogging intersections and shutting down major arteries.

Venezuela benefited for years from oil-fueled consumption and many poor citizens rose into the middle class. But the 2014 collapse in oil prices left the government unable to maintain a complex system of subsidies and price controls. People are starving and the lack of medication and supplies has led to deaths.

Granted, the expectation is that democratically elected leaders serve their full terms, but Maduro's resilience is particularly improbable given all that's wracked Venezuela in recent years.

Demonstrators also gathered on Wednesday in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz, home to Venezuela's struggling state-run mining companies, and the oil city of Maracaibo.

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Labour is seeking to focus the election on policy, given Mr Corbyn's dismal personal poll ratings. Corbyn was defiant about the Labour's ability to woo voters up and down the country.

"They've got the right to march but marching isn't burning stuff, throwing rocks", Jahil Marcano, a 48-year-old construction worker who had joined the pro-government rally told Reuters. "We're poorer every day".

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