Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro faces criticism from human rights groups for launching a campaign to squash demonstrations against his government.
In the past two weeks, dozens of anti-government activists were arrested for protesting economic hardships, government corruption, the presence of a team from Cuba at a baseball tournament, Maduro’s controversial rise to power, and more, The Huffington Post reports. The government responded to unrest by allowing police to use firearms to control the crowds. Additionally, they utilized anti-terrorism laws to round up activists. These protests are the worst the country has seen since Maduro came to power after the death of Hugo Chavez.
According to Reuters, at least three protesters have been shot dead in Caracas. Maduro said that a fourth person was in critical condition, and he blamed “small fascist groups” that he said infiltrated the opposition protest.
“They want to topple the government through violence,” the Venezuelan president said on state television. “They have no ethics. No morals...We will not permit any more attacks.”
Now, human rights groups are speaking up -- saying that such actions violate Venezuelans’ constitutional right to peaceful protest.
Follow along with the developing situation and lend your support for Venezuela with the hashtag #PrayForVenezuela.