Venezuela Bans Protests as Death Toll Rises

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

The Venezuelan government banned nationwide protests on Thursday, just days before a referendum to elect a constituent assembly capable of rewriting the nation’s constitution. The ban, which begins Friday and lasts through Tuesday, was announced toward the end of a 48-hour strike conducted by the nation’s opposition members, who are rallying against the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. On Thursday, the nation’s interior minister, Nestor Reverol, expressly prohibited “all public meetings and demonstrations, gatherings, and other similar acts that might disturb the electoral process” on Sunday. Those who defy the ban face a jail sentence of five to ten years.

Despite these new regulations, opposition leaders have said a large anti-government protest will take place Friday, as planned, in the