Saturday, March 22, 2014

Venezuelan Arrest of Opposition Mayors Sparks Clashes in Caracas

Arrest of opposition mayors sparks clashes in Caracas

March 21, 2014

CARACAS – Anti-government protesters have clashed with police in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, during a rally held in protest at the arrest of two opposition mayors accused of failing to curb violent demonstrations.

On Thursday, security forces fired tear gas and water cannons to break up the anti-government demonstration in Caracas after some of the protesters hurled stones and sticks at the police.

The protesters were angry at the decision by a Venezuelan court to arrest the mayors of the western city of San Cristobal, Daniel Ceballos, and the central city of San Diego, Vicencio Scarano, over their inaction in the face of violent anti-Caracas protests.

Following the arrest of the two mayors on Thursday, Venezuelan President Maduro warned that their colleague in Chacao could also be the next target if anti-government protesters continue to set up barricades in the streets.

The Venezuelan leader said, “We will not tremble if (the Supreme Court) gives us the order to detain” the mayor of Chacao, Ramon Muchacho.

The Venezuelan Interior Ministry has accused Ceballos of inciting “civilian rebellion” in San Cristobal. Scarano was also stripped of his post by the Supreme Court over his failure to stop public disorder in San Diego.

Over the past weeks, the Chacao district in Caracas has been heavily affected by nightly riots.

Since mid-February, Venezuela has been rocked by a wave of violent protests against the Maduro government. At least 30 people have so far been killed, over 400 wounded and almost 2,000 others arrested during the ongoing political unrest in the Latin American country.

The opposition blames the Maduro government for rampant crime, soaring inflation and shortage of essential goods.

The president, however, says the opposition seeks to launch a coup d’état in Venezuela with the backing of the United States.

– Press TV.

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