Dozens of children evacuated from Caracas hospital amid unrest - Times LIVE
   
Latest
Wed May 24 02:26:30 SAST 2017

Dozens of children evacuated from Caracas hospital amid unrest

AFP | 2017-04-21 09:42:27.0
Workers of the health sector and opposition supporters take part in a rally due to the shortages of basic medical supplies and against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela.
Image by: CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS / REUTERS

About 50 children were evacuated from a Caracas hospital Thursday which the Venezuelan government blamed on an attack by armed gangs but the opposition attributed to tear gas used to quell unrest.

As protests and looting continued into the night following another day of clashes between police and demonstrators in the capital, the government and opposition traded blows over the events at the maternity hospital.

"I denounce before the international community that armed gangs hired by the opposition attacked a maternity hospital with 54 children," Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez tweeted, noting that President Nicolas Maduro had ordered the hospital's evacuation.

But Freddy Guevara, an opposition leader, rejected the allegation, calling Rodriguez "irresponsible" and saying the evacuations were "the fault of tear gas bombs of your dictatorship."

Demonstrators have vowed not to flinch in their campaign to oust Maduro, despite three weeks of protest violence that has left eight people dead, including three on Wednesday.

Earlier Thursday police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up thousands of marchers as they reached a vital freeway in Caracas, then edged back slightly as masked protesters pelted them with stones and Molotov cocktails.

Protesters blame Maduro -- heir of the leftist "Bolivarian revolution" launched by the late Hugo Chavez in 1999 -- for an economic crisis marked by severe shortages of food, medicine and basic goods.

Maduro says the protests seeking to oust him are backed by the United States.

On Thursday, Maduro said the opposition was ready to begin a political dialogue, which his opponents denied.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.
X