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Venezuela crisis: UN urges government to allow dissent as asylum requests soar

16 Julio 2017
Venezuela crisis: UN urges government to allow dissent as asylum requests soar

"The Constituent Assembly is a fraud, because it doesn't resolve any of the problems that Venezuelans are facing, like hunger and crime", said opposition congressman Omar Avila, with the Unidad Vision Venezuela party.

Authorities accused Holt of hiding an assault rifle and grenades at the apartment where the two were living. Particular attention to the rights of these communities as well as a differentiated and targeted protection and humanitarian response is required.

"The true way to pay respects to those who've died is for this dictatorship to fall", Perez, 36, said in Spanish.

The unofficial referendum has all the hallmarks of a major election: There will be voting centers nationwide and in more than 75 countries.

While around 80% of Venezuelans disapprove of Maduro's performance, according to Luis Vicente Leon of the Datanalisis firm, the opposition's challenge is to use its vote "as a motivator for peaceful protests able to topple the government".

Washington has sought to replace the Venezuelan government since 1998 when Hugo Chávez was elected president.

The Supreme Court's decision also caused serious splits within the Socialist leadership, with Attorney General Luisa Ortega denouncing the ruling as unconstitutional, making her the highest-level official to break ranks to date.

An opposition supporter at a vigil in homage to victims of violence at past protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, July 13, 2017.

Utah's representatives in the U.S. House, Republicans Mia Love, Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart, have also joined other members of Congress in writing a letter to President Donald Trump saying Holt's release is crucial and that there is no reason for his "extended suffering".

“We are very concerned that more than 450 civilians have reportedly been brought before military tribunals, ” OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssel said.

Maduro and his supporters say Sunday's referendum is illegitimate.

Over the last few years, opposition groups have been able to take advantage of the deepening capitalist economic crisis - including their own sabotage of government measures - to bolster their position. Opposition demonstrators with their faces covered routinely throw Molotov cocktails and fire homemade mortars at police and National Guard sent to break up the protests.

Authorities at the time of Holt's arrest suggested he was linked to a U.S. -backed conspiracy to oust Maduro.

The protest movement that emerged at the end of April is not the first to appear.

He screamed, "What does Venezuela want?"

"People in Venezuela are scared to vote".

"The protracted delays in providing him even a preliminary hearing and filing formal charges casts serious doubts on the merit of and the lawfulness of his detention", the State Department said of Holt's plight. The Cuban volunteers aren't afraid, but "we have to be aware of the dangers".