[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Analysts say China moving back toward 1950s-era public trials aimed at shaming and intimidation.
Record numbers of migrants have made harrowing sea journeys to Italy and Greece this year.
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
join our mailing list