Opposition presses for fresh marches in Venezuela

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A top Venezuelan opposition figure called on Saturday for more marches aimed at taking back the courts and the National Electoral Council that he said had been “hijacked” by President Nicolas Maduro.
“We want to summon all Venezuelans, across the country’s 24 states, to hit the dictatorship with a one-two punch,” Guevara said, evoking simultaneous peaceful marches in the two locations.
A month of demonstrations in April in Venezuela has left 28 people dead in clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters, according to prosecutors.
More than 400 people have been injured, and nearly 1,300 arrested, according to the attorney general.
The center-right-led opposition is demanding elections to remove Maduro, an elected socialist. It blames him for an economic crisis that has caused shortages of food, medicine and other basic items.
“On May 1, after a month of resistance, we need to show that the people refuse to give up,” Guevara said.
Late Saturday, hundreds of people marched by candlelight, flowers in their arms, to pay homage to those killed in the latest protests.
“We are here to remember our friends who have been killed seeking the release of those on our side who have been jailed. The (dead) deserve this recognition from all of Venezuela,” said law student Amanda Fioretti, 20.
Rights group Amnesty International urged the government on Wednesday to stop the “persecution” and “arbitrary detention” of protesters.

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