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Latest News from Venezuela

By El Universal

Wednesday's highlights - Five days of violent demonstrations left a toll of dead, wounded and arrested people. A number of NGOs and even the ICHR have already expressed their concern.

* If the proposal submitted by Jorge Rodríguez, director of the National Electoral Council (CNE), to ratified signatures under observation is accepted, only one out of four signatories who backed a presidential recall vote could effectively participate in the process to ratify signatures, civilian association Súmate said.

* According to Fedecámaras, the numbers announced by the CNE do not match with those processed by the opposition. They said that the right of almost 400,000 signatories who were not included in the figures announced by the electoral authorities must be rescued.

* Luis Vicente León, director of Datanálisis polling firm, said the opposition faces a dilemma: It either rejects the ratification process and thus adopts civil disobedience or accepts it and this would mean to betray the right of the people.

* Hundreds of people have been detained in several states of Venezuela as a result of five consecutive days of strong protests against the National Electoral Council.

* Fourteen media professionals have been injured or attacked since demonstrations against the CNE started on February 27, including three with fire guns wounds. Other three journalists have been detained by security forces in the last few days.

* Two judges based on Caracas were removed from their positions for having ordered the release of demonstrators belonging to different opposition political organizations.

* The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (ICHR) expressed its concern about the "serious violent events" observed in Venezuela during the recent demonstrations, which have left six dead and 60 injured people. In a communiqué, the ICHR attributed the toll to "the unduly use of force" both by the National Guard, the DISIP, and the demonstrators.

* Numerous human rights organizations claimed for respect to the people who have been arrested during the ongoing violent events in Caracas and other cities of Venezuela, as the opposition alliance Democratic Coordinator said that more than 300 Venezuelans have been detained.

* The Ministry of Infrastructure informed that the recent violent demonstrations caused damages to main highways in Caracas in the order of $600,000.

* The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference said in a press release that the preliminary report by the CNE, which subjected more than 800,000 signatures supporting a presidential recall vote petition to confirmation by voters, does not solve the political crisis the country is going trough, but deepens it.

* Pompeyo Márquez, member of the Democratic Coordinator, admitted they are negotiating with the CNE in an effort to "save the referendum", and ensured that "under the current terms, we are not going to accept" the process under which voter must confirmed they signed a presidential recall vote petition.

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