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Jailed protest leader urges continued Venezuelan protests

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 01:30

Feb 21 - Venezuela's jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez sends a note from behind bars urging continued demonstrations, while President Nicolas Maduro says right-wing extremists want to destabilize the country. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Accused of instigating violent protests, Venezuela's jailed opposition leader sends a handwritten note from behind bars. Leopoldo Lopez is urging continued demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro. But peaceful ones. At least 6 people have died in recent days. And authorities say some 100 civilians have been injured. Both sides are blaming each other. President Maduro is now blaming "right-wing extremists." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO SAYING: "Venezuela is the victim of attack by a group of right-wing extremists who want to destabilize the country, to lead us into a civil war, to topple the legitimate government, and to destroy the Bolivarian revolution with the support from factions in the United States." Troops guard the streets of San Cristobal, Tachira - recently described as a "war zone." The Interior Ministry said a battalion of paratroopers was being sent to the state to help bring calm. Something the mayor condemns. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DANIEL CEBALLOS, MAYOR OF SAN CRISTOBAL, SAYING: "We do not understand the war actions of this magnitude. The people of Tachira are under military attack. The people of Tachira are being terrorized by the government. There is no sense to this." Protesters are demanding that President Maduro resign... Blaming his government for rampant crime, inflation, shortages of basic products and repression.

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Jailed protest leader urges continued Venezuelan protests

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 01:30