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Venezuela "living under a dictatorship," wife of jailed opposion leader says

Monday, Feb 24, 2014 - 01:39

Feb. 24 - Clashes result in another death in Venezuela while wife of jailed opposition leader criticizes government's crackdown. Nathan Frandino reports.

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The conflict in Venezuela claims another life. Jimmy Vargas died in Tachira from an injury to the head. Vargas was reportedly observing a protest from his balcony. In Caracas, anti-government protesters remain in the streets. Barricades are a constant. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) MARIA ROSA ROBLES, PROTESTER, SAYING: "We have to protest peacefully and the only peaceful means we have is by closing the streets. We don't have guns; we only have whistles, noisemakers, flags, and our hearts." Much of the recent unrest also focuses on the jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. His wife, Lilian Tintori, says her husband has been cut off. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LILIAN TINTORI, WIFE OF JAILED OPPOSITION LEADER, LEOPOLDO LOPEZ, SAYING: "He is completely isolated. He is shut in a dungeon. They don't let him leave and the treatment is minimal." Tintori, who has accompanied Lopez in many of the protests, says the government's attacks are baseless. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LILIAN TINTORI, WIFE OF JAILED OPPOSITION LEADER, LEOPOLDO LOPEZ, SAYING: "As a woman, as a wife and as a mother, I am convinced we are living under a dictatorship. Leopoldo is unjustly imprisoned. None of the charges he is accused of are real." Still, the government has its supporters. Thousands of motorcyclists drove through the streets Monday to show support for President Nicolas Maduro. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RICARDO VARGAS, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE MOTORCYCLISTS, SAYING: "What comrade Nicolas Maduro can count on is that the "iron horses" are demonstrating civic behavior, peace, tolerance and it is done within a legal context, within the constitution and within the law." At least 13 have died in the unrest, which has become the biggest challenge to Maduro's 10-month-old government.

Venezuela "living under a dictatorship," wife of jailed opposion leader says

Monday, Feb 24, 2014 - 01:39

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