UN rights office counts 43 dead amid Venezuela unrest


At least 43 people have died amid the violence and looting in recent days in Venezuela, the UN Human Rights Office said.

At least 26 people were reportedly shot dead by government security forces or pro-government armed groups during demonstrations between Jan. 22 and Jan, 25.

Another member of the Bolivarian National Guard also died, according to the Geneva-based office.

Security forces allegedly shot five more people during house raids, the office said.

It added that unidentified suspects killed 11 people during looting that broke out amid the protests.

The UN Human Rights Office also reported that at least 850 protesters were detained between Jan. 21 and Jan. 26 across Venezuela, including 77 children.

Similarly, U.S. sanctions against Venezuela are exacerbating the South American country’s crisis and undermining the international financial system, Russia’s top diplomat said on Tuesday.

The sanctions “further exacerbate the crisis in Venezuelan society’’ and “undermine the last remaining confidence in the international monetary and financial system based on the primacy of the dollar,’’ Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said.

Russia, whose state oil major, Rosneft, works closely with its Venezuelan counterpart, PDVSA has for years struggled with the U.S. and other Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

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The U.S. imposed sanctions against PDVSA this week as it seeks the ouster of already sanctioned Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, whom the U.S. has accused of being a dictator.

“U.S. companies working in Venezuela are excluded from the sanctions’’ because the U.S. wants to “change the regime and still receive a profit,’’ Lavrov said.

U.S. individuals are “generally prohibited’’ from engaging in transactions with PDVSA, the U.S. Treasury said in a statement.

Russia expects Venezuela to have trouble servicing more than $3 billion of debt to the Russian state, the Russian Finance Ministry said.

“Probably there will be problems,’’ Deputy Finance Minister, Sergei Storchak, said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

Venezuela is supposed to make its next payment of about $100 million to Russia in late March.

The following payment is due in September, Storchak said.

The post UN rights office counts 43 dead amid Venezuela unrest appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news

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