Students from all across Venezuela gathered in the capital city Caracas Wednesday for a march in support of the government of of President Nicolas Maduro calling for peace and dialogue and and rejecting violence that has at time broken out in demonstrations led by the right-wing opposition in recent weeks.
Under the banner of marching "In favor of peace and against violence," the demonstration kicked off at Plaza Morelos at 10:00 a.m. local time, bringing together socialist youth supporting the educational achievements of Maduro's government.
The past three weeks have seen large protests in favor and against the Maduro government, during which more than two dozen people have been killed and at least 437 injured, according to Attorney General Luisa Ortega, while opposition protests have at time turned violent. Many of the victims of fatalities have been young people and students.
Of those killed, three deaths have been attributed to state security forces, while two of the dead are members of the police themselves. Eight were electrocuted as they attempted to loot a bakery, while five other were killed in incidents expressly connected to opposition protests. On the other hand, 10 of the deceased are attributed to right-wing violence.
Government supporters or chavistas accuse right-wing opposition leaders of attempted to portray the deaths as examples of state repression and evidence of the “dictatorship” that they are aiming to topple in order to try to justify a foreign intervention.
The opposition has called for more marches as recent protesters have clashed with police when they attempted to break police cordons and head to areas where pro-government demonstrators were gathered. A new round of opposing marches have been organized in Caracas for Wednesday.
Maduro has called for a broad dialogue, which the opposition has rejected and in turn demanded his removal from office.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, will hold an urgent session on May 2 about ongoing opposition violence in Venezuela.