Venezuelans block roads in seventh week of unrest

Venezuelans launched a seventh week of anti-government demonstrations by blocking roads on Monday, vowing not to budge all day in protest at a deadly political and economic crisis.

Hundreds stood in the rain on a major highway in Caracas and similar rallies were called around the country, according to AzVision.

Clashes have left 38 people dead in protests against moves to strengthen President Nicolas Maduro's hold on power and his refusal to hold early elections.

The center-right opposition blames socialist leader Maduro for an economic crisis that has caused severe shortages of food and medicine.

'Resistance' or 'insurgency'?

A senior opposition lawmaker, Freddy Guevara, told reporters Monday's rally would go on for 12 hours until 2300 GMT.

He said 50 other similar blockages were planned on roads across the country, with the aim of generating a state of "ungovernability" to pressure Maduro.

"This is a day of resistance, of endurance, of showing that we are organized and firm," Guevara said at the rally.

He repeated the opposition's claim that Maduro was installing a "dictatorship."

Maduro has vowed general elections will take place as scheduled in late 2018 but not before.

He has accused the opposition of mounting an "armed insurgency" and "terrorist acts" against him with US backing.


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