[QODLink]
Americas

Anti-government rallies hit Venezuela streets

Thousands take to the streets of Caracas to protest against education reform and restrictions to demonstrate.

Last updated: 27 Apr 2014 00:49
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
At least 41 people have been killed and hundreds injured in unrest that erupted in February [EPA]

Several thousand people took to the streets of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities to protest against education reform plans and restrictions on the right to demonstrate.

Saturday's marches were the latest in a spate of at times violent anti-government unrest that erupted in February and has claimed at least 41 lives.

The education ministry recently started consultations to reform the country's basic school curriculum in a move opponents say is aimed at "indoctrinating" students with socialist rhetoric promoted by late longtime leader Hugo Chavez and his political heir and successor, current President Nicolas Maduro.

An estimated 3,000 mostly young marchers turned out in the capital Caracas, initially gathering near a university.

Some demonstrators carried signs that read "education is not indoctrination" and "fight for education that teaches us to think and not obey."

Others criticised recent restrictions on protests with banners such as "protesting is my right".

On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling requiring demonstrations be approved ahead of time by authorities or risk being dispersed, in order "to guarantee the right to free movement".

Opponents say the ruling goes against democratic principles.

Similar protests took place in other cities around the country, including Valencia and Maracaibo.

Anti-government unrest has rattled Venezuela since February, leaving at least 41 people dead and more than 700 injured as angry students and others denounce rampant crime, inflation, widespread shortages of basic goods and other economic woes.

The demonstrations have died down recently but continued sporadically in pockets of eastern Caracas, which tends to be well off and anti-Maduro.

Maduro was narrowly elected to succeed Chavez last year after he died of cancer.

271

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
Palestinians in Gaza have been shocked by the scale of Israeli destruction, as long-term truce efforts continue.
The Positive Action Foundation Philippines, manned by HIV-positive staff, provides care to those who have no one else.
A former rebel's museum keeps alive memories of the July 26, 1953 veterans who launched Cuba's revolution.
A revolutionary new treatment is halving hospitalisation rates for severe asthma sufferers.
join our mailing list