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Venezuela News Alert

Venezuela: Anti-government protests continue /update 6

Anti-government protests continue, general strike under consideration; avoid all demonstrations due to high likelihood of violence

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/12/2017, 12:30 AM until 6/16/2017, 5:22 PM (America/Caracas). COUNTRY/REGION Northern Venezuela

Event

The ongoing anti-government protest movement entered its 73rd consecutive day on Monday, June 12, with no sign of an end in sight. The opposition is considering an intensification of their mobilization by launching a general national strike in the coming days, as well as by possibly organizing another massive event in the capital Caracas. The wave of often-violent (and violently-repressed) protests, held in cities across the country, has resulted in at least 67 deaths and thousands of arrests since April 1, and has had a paralyzing effect on daily life in the country.

Furthermore, government forces have reportedly stepped up brutal tactics; cases of protesters - including MPs, judges, and journalists - being harassed, robbed, and attacked by security forces and pro-government militias have been reported. The militarized Venezuelan National Guard police force is considered the worst offender in terms of resorting to disproportional violence when dealing with opposition elements.

Context

Venezuela has been devastated by a long series of progressively worsening crises affecting the restive country in recent months and years, including a breakdown of the democratic system, major shortages of gasoline, medications, food, and other basic necessities, an alarming spike in rates of violent crime, massive inflation and economic recession, and a resurgence of disease. Amid the chaos, President Nicolás Maduro announced his intention to rewrite the constitution via a new constituent assembly to be elected on July 30. Opposition forces criticize the move as an attempt by the regime to hijack the protest movement and to "eliminate" the legitimate National Assembly, controlled by an opposition coalition but essentially rendered powerless.

Advice

Individuals in Caracas and other Venezuelan cities are advised to limit movements, to strictly avoid all protests and roadblocks due to the likelihood of violence, and to closely monitor the situation.

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