Protesters gathered across Yaracuy state on Friday, September 25, in a continuation of ongoing nationwide demonstrations denouncing the poor state of public services and a lack of utilities in the country, namely fuel, among other issues. Reports indicate that at least 18 demonstrators were injured after security personnel forcibly dispersed crowds in Nirgua (Yaracuy); several arrests were also made. Protests were also reported in Yaracuy's José Antonio Páez municipality on Friday. Demonstrations first started in Yaracuy on Tuesday, September 22, in the town of Urachiche, and related gatherings have been witnessed in Bruzual (Apure), Puerto Ordaz (Bolívar), Coro (Falcón), and San Cristóbal (Táchira) in recent days. Sources indicate that the protests began peacefully but have since turned unrestful after security forces utilised tear gas and other crowd dispersal measures.
Further clashes between protesters and security forces are to be anticipated in the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence is to be expected in the vicinity of all demonstrations, with associated disruptions to transportation likely. Fuel shortages are likely to continue over the near term, with the shipment not expected for around a month. Unrest over the situation is likely to continue.
Venezuela holds the world's largest oil reserves yet is unable to refine enough crude to meet its domestic demands. Iran has sent fuel shipments to Venezuela three times this year, but a month ago a shipment was seized by US officials imposing sanctions, which is likely to have exacerbated the fuel situation. The state oil company PDVSA is attempting to restart processing units at its refineries, but this has largely been unsuccessful so far.
Those in Venezuela more broadly, are advised to monitor developments, avoid the area as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities
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