Venezuela facing unrest
Violence is raging in Venezuela when a peaceful protest turned deadly, sparking new tensions and later turned to chaos.
Earlier this week, two protesters were killed and scores were injured when the protest became violent.
Many believed the anti-government factions have caused the clamor with an aim to cause massive unrest and eventual ousting of President Nicolas Maduro.
The violent unrest was captured on videotape and the protest was reported in other parts of the country.
President Maduro has claimed his opponents are to blame for the country’s unrest and the opposition groups are planning for his his downfall.
The initial Youth Day march was peaceful at first but became deadly after government supporters and the opposition clashed, causing damage to buildings, civilian vehicles and injury to one another.
US concerned on the rising violence in Venezuela
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the US government isdeeply concerned by rising tensions and violence surrounding this week’s protests in Venezuela.
“Our condolences go to the families of those killed as a result of this tragic violence.” – Secretary Kerry
Secretary Kerry is alarmed by reports that the Venezuelan government has arrested or detained scores of anti-government protestors and issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.
He noted that these actions have a chilling effect on citizens’ rights to express their grievances peacefully.
The US is calling on the Venezuelan government to provide the political space necessary for meaningful dialogue with the Venezuelan people and to release detained protestors.
In addition, the US is urging all parties to work to restore calm and refrain from violence.
Secretary Kerry highlighted that freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are universal human rights. He said it is an obligation to protect these fundamental freedoms and the safety of its citizens.
United States-Venezuela relations have been focusing on cooperation in combating the production and transit of illegal drugs.
The ties between countries were strained after the socialist President Hugo Chavez assumed elected office in 1999. Tensions between the countries escalated when Venezuela accused the George W. Bush adminstration of supporting the Venezuelan failed coup attempt in 2002 in an aim to oust Chavez.
In 2008, Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S. in September 2008 U.S. ambassador was accused of cooperating with violent anti-government groups in that country.
In June 2009, relations between two countries were reestablished under President Barack Obama.