There have been more scenes of urban conflict in Caracas as Venezuela’s worst unrest in a decade continues to pit anti-government protesters against police.
In the latest violence, security forces fired tear gas as student demonstrators tried to set up barricades in the streets.
“People here are fighting for a better future because in Venezuela there is no future and we need real change,” said one unidentified, young protester, his mouth covered by a mask. “Unfortunately this is the only way we Venezuelans can show that we have some dignity.”
At least 20 people have died in nearly a month of protests demanding the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro. He says it is a Washington-backed plot to overthrow his government.
“They are not protests, this is not a struggle. It is destruction, pure vandalism carried out by mercenaries,” he told supporters.
Riot police were out in force to prevent peaceful protesters taking their grievances to the Food Ministry. Shortages of basic products like bread and milk are among demonstrators’ chief complaints.
Thousands banged pots and pans and blew whistles and horns in the capital. Similar rallies were held in several other Venezuelan cities.