Venezuela Guard deploys tear gas on march

Anti-government demonstrators take cover from advancing Bolivarian Police officers during protests in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Demonstrators clog a Caracas highway on Wednesday, shouting their resistance to President Nicolas Maduro. Troops fired tear gas in Caracas neighborhoods, the border city of San Cristobal, the depressed industrial city of Puerto Ordaz, and the arid northern city of Punto Fijo.

"This is exhausting - but we won't give up until we achieve a better country and democracy", Luiza Mayorca, a lawyer and mother of three, told NPR's Phil Reeves in Caracas. "There are a lot of people in the opposition and they are full of courage".

The ongoing unrest sparked three weeks ago when the country's Supreme Court announced it would strip the opposition-controlled congress of its last remaining powers.

An anti-government protesters throws a molotov bomb at security forces in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

The teenager, later identified as Carlos Moreno, died while undergoing surgery, a hospital representative told CNN.

But the rules for renewal are so steep they are "almost impossible" to meet, said the lone dissenting CNE official. "But it's hard because when government supporters see you with a camera they send motorcycles to try and grab it from you", he added. Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to an email seeking details.

Tens of thousands of protesters converged from 26 different points spread across the capital to attempt to march downtown to the Ombudsman's office.

Previous efforts to march there have been blocked by the National Guard.

Throughout the day, those rallies often devolved into clashes between demonstrators and security forces - chaotic, violent scenes rent by tear gas, tossed rocks and even two reported deaths. Maduro acuses the USA government of plotting a "coup attempt".

In the poll, 80 percent of Venezuelans also said there have been times in the past year when they did not have enough money to buy food for themselves or their family, which is on par with Central African Republic's 83 percent and Malawi's 82 percent.

A short block away from where the opposition was gathering, a sea of red-shirted government supporters marched by calmly, some dancing to a salsa band that tried to provide a dose of normalcy to an otherwise tense situation. They have also urged the government to call for elections, which would help end the crisis in the country.

Venezuela benefited for years from oil-fueled consumption and many poor citizens rose into the middle class.

Riding on high world oil prices, Chavez had created subsidies and price controls, raising living standards for the poor, but no longer. People are starving and the lack of medication and supplies has led to deaths.

Further spurring outrage was a decision by the national comptroller's office earlier this month to disqualify opposition leader and two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles from holding office for 15 years, dashing his hopes for the presidency.

Granted, the expectation is that democratically elected leaders serve their full terms, but Maduro's resilience is particularly improbable given all that's wracked Venezuela in recent years. The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, is exempt from renewal.

Venezuela has reiterated to the Organization of American States that it does not recognize the hemispheric group's resolution saying the South American country had violated constitutional order.

"I've just graduated. and what I've got in the bank isn't enough for a bottle of cooking oil", said Gregorio Mendoza, a 23 -year-old engineer in Puerto Ordaz. "We're poorer every day".

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