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UN calls for stop to "violence" in Venezuela
May 15,2017   By:Xinhua
CARACAS, May 15, 2017 -- The United Nations in Venezuela on Friday called for a "stop to the violence" that has roiled the South American country since April.
 
In a statement, it urged the opposing sides in Venezuela's protracted political conflict "to value, respect and guarantee the right to life, and stop the violence."
 
The call came after weeks of clashes between right-wing anti-government protesters and security forces or supporters of the ruling socialist PSUV party.
 
Demonstrations should be "peaceful and protected by the authorities," the UN said, reiterating an earlier call for the two sides in the conflict to find a negotiated solution through dialogue.
 
On April 20, the UN urged both camps to strive for "balance" between the different branches of government.
 
With the PSUV in power and an opposition-controlled congress, the government has been in a deadlock.
 
The organization also called for "concrete gestures" to reduce the political tension and division within society.
 
Protests have killed nearly 40 people and left hundreds more injured so far.
 
On May 1, President Nicolas Maduro called for a new Constitution as a means of overcoming the political crisis, and a presidential commission in the process of forming a constituent assembly to draft the document.
 
However, the opposition coalition, which wants the government to hold early elections, has rebuffed the move as a delay tactic.