Masked youths battled police, protesters burned effigies of President Nicolas Maduro and marchers demanded the "resurrection" of democracy on a volatile Easter weekend in Venezuela.

Though millions of Venezuelans have headed for Caribbean beaches and family gatherings over the Easter period, student demonstrators have sought to keep a nearly three-month protest movement going with religious-themed demonstrations.

After a barefoot walk and a "Via Crucis" march in the style of Jesus' tortured walk towards crucifixion earlier in the week, hundreds of demonstrators began Sunday with a rally denominated "Resurrection of Democracy."

"We're staying in the street until we get our country back," student leader Djamil Jassir, 22, told Reuters in a square where protesters displayed dozens of used gas canisters and bullets as symbols of repression. "This is the time to stand firm."

Anti-Maduro protests since early February have led to violence killing at least 41 people, according to official figures. The dead have been from both sides of the South American nation's political divide and from security forces.