Venezuela death toll rises

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By Catherine Hardy  with BBC, Reuters
Venezuela death toll rises

Three more people have been killed in protests in Venezuela.

The death toll over the last three weeks of demonstrations now stands at 24.

Supporters and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro have clashed in the streets.

How many have been injured?

At least 437. Officials say 1, 289 have been arrested.

14 journalists have been arrested and 106 attacked.

Are more marches planned?

Yes. Protesters plan to take to the streets on Wednesday.

They have urged people to join their demonstrations in support of their call for an early election.

Marches will try to converge in the centre of the capital, Caracas.

So far they have been kept on the outskirts by police using tear gas and rubber bullets.

What has sparked the latest protests?

A decision by Venezuela’s Supreme Court to assume the powers of the opposition-dominated National Assembly.

The ruling was reversed but this did not stop a wave of protests from breaking out.

The country is embroiled in a dire economic and social crisis in which millions are short of food and medicine as it faces the highest inflation in the world.

Crime is spiralling.

Anti-government protests have entered their fourth week as people demand better living conditions and the release of political prisoners.

What the opposition say

“This government is not tenable,” declared the leader of the opposition, Henrique Capriles. He is a former election rival of the president.

What the government say

The government has called on the “revolutionary youth” to march to the presidential palace, Miraflores, “in defence of peace.”

“We will conquer the violence and this coup d’etat,” the president promised on Tuesday evening.

Cuba aid

Venezuela’s problems are having a knock-on effect around the region.

Cuba has had to deal with a 50 percent cut in oil aid from Caracas, worth an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Analysts say energy cutbacks, a boom in tourism and overseas remittances have cushioned the blow so far.