The riots were provoked by the withdrawal from circulation of banknotes of the largest in the country
Police of Venezuela has arrested more than 300 people during the riots provoked by the withdrawal from circulation of banknotes of the largest in the country, said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The leader of the socialist last week withdrew from circulation a banknote face value of 100 bolivars to the introduction of the new banknotes, which resulted in a shortage of cash in the country and exacerbated the economic crisis, overshadowed by Christmas and new year holidays.
After two days of unrest in the country, in which one person was killed and dozens of stores were looted, Maduro has postponed the introduction of measures to 2 January. The decision of the President helped to contain the violence, but reports of continued cases of looting in the southern city of Ciudad Bolivar continued to arrive.
Among those detained were leaders and members of the opposition party “Narodnaya Volya” and “For justice,” said Maduro on state television, accusing the party of fomenting the chaos at the behest of the United States.
“Don’t come to me and say that they are political prisoners… They are two parties gringos in Venezuela,” said Maduro, accusing President Barack Obama of intending to overthrow the government in Venezuela before he steps down on January 20.
The greatest rampant looting occurred on Friday and Saturday, especially in the towns of El Callao and Ciudad Bolivar in the South. Police used tear gas for crowd control in some areas.
Stores under the control of the Chinese suffered the most, the witnesses, and in the town of El Callao on Friday was shot and killed 14-year-old boy.
The Governor of the state of Bolivar said that the police arrested 262 people, robbing shops of food, and the science lab. The local business Association reported the robbery 350 companies in Ciudad Bolivar, including 90 percent of food stores.
To ease the tension, some places in Santa Elena de Uairén has reduced food prices.
The popularity of Nicolas Maduro, a 54-year-old former bus driver and foreign Minister, who replaced Hugo Chavez in 2013, fell during a three-year recession. Maduro justified the seizure of the currency by the desire to destroy the mafia on the borders of the country.
However, opponents of Maduro claim that the incident is another sign of the catastrophic economic policy in the country, which was hit by rising prices and shortages of basic goods. Opponents want Maduro to resign.
After the withdrawal from circulation of banknotes in denominations of 100 bolivars on Friday, many Venezuelans are unable to buy groceries or to fill up their cars in the confusion of the Christmas period.+
“As if we didn’t have enough problems, now they are blaming this madness on us,” said 74-year-old Zoraida gutiérrez in Caracas, which all day stood in line to place your in a Bank account sums of money she kept under the bed.
“It’s like a cruel joke,” said the woman.
Despite the fact that Maduro on Saturday postponed the withdrawal of the bills, some businesses still refused to accept notes on Sunday. Maduro called on the population to pay using a payment card, however, 40 percent of the 30 million population of Venezuela do not have Bank accounts.
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