Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro staged sit-ins and roadblocks across Venezuela on Monday, May 15,  to press for elections, sparking new unrest.

Demonstrators have been on the streets daily since early April to demand elections, freedom for jailed activists, foreign humanitarian aid to offset an economic crisis, and autonomy for the opposition-controlled legislature.

Maduro accuses them of seeking a violent coup.

At least 38 people have died, including protesters, government sympathizers, bystanders and security forces, during six weeks of protests in Venezuela. Hundreds have been hurt and arrested.

The current wave of protests, which have attracted hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on some days, has drawn greater support from the poor, who backed late leader Hugo Chavez massively but have soured on Maduro, his successor, and suffered the most from four years of recession.

But the main protests have still been in middle-class areas.

Maduro, 54, who narrowly won election in 2013 after Chavez’s death, says he is the victim of an international right-wing conspiracy that has already brought down leftist governments in Brazil, Argentina and Peru in recent years. (Reuters)

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Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

A demonstrator astride her bicycle with her face painted in the Venezuelan national colors, holds a Venezuelan flag during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Venezuela’s opposition leader and Governor of Miranda state Henrique Capriles (L) poses for a picture with supporters during a blockade in an avenue while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2017. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

A demonstrator holds a sign that doubles a shield that reads in Spanish “It’s for you,” during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

People place crosses, representing people who have died during the most recent opposition protest movement, on the side of the highway during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Opposition supporters carry materials to build a barricade to block an avenue while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2017. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

An opposition supporter looks on during a blockade in an avenue while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2017. (Christian Veron/Reuters)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

A demonstrator and boy wearing a helmet and holding a shield, walk on a blocked highway as a barricade burns in the background, during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Opposition supporters carry materials to build a barricade to block an avenue while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2017. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

A demonstrator sits on a discarded stove at a barricade, during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Opposition supporters carry materials to build a barricade to block an avenue while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2017. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

A woman lies in the middle of the street covered with the Spanish message “Maduro, resign already” during an opposition sit-in, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

A demonstrators walks by to a burning barricaded on a highway during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

An opposition supporter looks on during a blockade in an avenue while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2017. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Opposition supporters block an avenue while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro carrying a sign that reads “Maduro is hunger” in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2017. (REUTERS/Marco Bello/Reuters)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

People place crosses, representing people who have died during the most recent opposition protest movement, on the side of a highway during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

An opposition supporter shows a sling shot built to resemble a gun during a rally against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2017. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Boxes featuring images of praying hands, the pope, a cross, a gun, Jesus and a peace sign are attached to the wall of a highway underpass, placed by opposition protesters during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

A demonstrator holds a sign that reads in Spanish “Free Venezuela,” during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Opposition supporters walk past a graffiti on the road that reads “Freedom”, during a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela May 15, 2017. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

A demonstrator jumps over a barricade during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

A demonstrator holds a sign that doubles a shield that reads in Spanish “It’s for you,” during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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