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Venezuela erupts as millions join anti-Maduro shutdown

Jul 21, 2017, 6:42 AM EDT
A protester holds a Venezuelan flag during 2014 anti-Maduro demonstrations in Caracas.

Violent clashes between police and protesters left at least three people dead after millions of Venezuelans took to streets to join a nationwide strike against President Nicolás Maduro’s bid to rewrite the country’s constitution.

While the opposition claimed that 85 percent of country participated in the protest, Maduro downplayed the 24-hour shutdown even as he vowed to take strict action against the anti-government leaders, writes the BBC.

Venezuelan capital, Caracas, remained the center of turbulence with students and activists blocking the streets off with rubbish and furniture, notes Reuters. So far, the four-month long anti-regime unrest has claimed more than 100 lives while hundreds have been stuffed into jails, in a country stuck in an economic rut for the fourth consecutive year.