Anti-government protesters in the Venezuelan capital Caracas have rallied against President Nicolas Maduro in a protest about the state of the public healthcare system.
Riot police were out in force on Monday to stop hundreds of medics from marching on government buildings.
Medic Alfredo Baez said:
“We, who don’t agree with this government, are prevented from marching to the government headquarters.”
Dr Eliana Carmona was worried about the level of medical supplies.
“There is a major crisis,” she said. “We have few supplies to work with and no way to provide quality medical attention for our patients.”
However, some doctors and students held their own march in support of the president.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for a programme supporting Venezuela’s community medics, Maduro said:
“For those bitter people on the right who have come out to say Venezuela has no healthcare for the people, I recognise that there are problems. Of course there are. But we’re working on them and will announce the delivery of resources and plans to continue to make progress, mostly at a hospital level.”
President Maduro has also reacted angrily to comments made by US Vice President Joe Biden about ongoing protests in the country.
In a recent newspaper article, Biden accused the Venezuelan government of concocting false conspiracy theories against the United States and called the situation in the South American country “alarming”.
Weeks of tension have rocked Venezuela, largely centred around the country’s soaring inflation and shortages of basic goods.