CARACAS, Venezuela – Protesters sprawled in lawn chairs, completed math homework and lined up motorcycles on main roads around Venezuela Monday as part of a sit-in against the government.
Hundreds of protesters shut down main roads around the capital city of Caracas to express their anger with the increasingly embattled socialist administration of President Nicolás Maduro. The protest movement is entering its fourth week, and has become increasingly deadly.
On Sunday, a 21st death was linked to the unrest that began almost a month ago over the Supreme Court’s decision to gut the opposition-controlled congress of its powers. The Interior Ministry said that Almelina Carrillo died in a hospital after being struck on the head with a frozen water bottle thrown from a high rise during a pro-government rally last week.
Maduro on Sunday said he wouldn’t give in to opponents and again urged them rejoin negotiations they broke off last December.
Monday’s daylong sit-in got off to a peaceful start.
Its leaders are rejecting calls for dialogue, and demanding immediate general elections.
“The government wants to use negotiations as a ploy to divide us, demobilize us, and win itself time,” congress Vice President Freddy Guevara told reporters. “This protest is an exercise in resistance and a test of our conviction. It’s crucial that we stay here all day.”