Venezuelans shut down streets in Caracas to protest Maduro government
Weeks of political unrest have left at least 46 people dead
Masses of protesters with white shirts, homemade gas masks and flags draped around their shoulders shut down a main road in the Venezuelan capital on Saturday in a continuation of near-daily street protests.
Soldiers shut down access to the centre of Caracas and officials closed at least 10 metro stations in anticipation of Saturday's protest.
State security forces have consistently prevented protesters from reaching the city centre, home to the presidential palace, Supreme Court, and electoral authority. The political unrest has left at least 46 people dead.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, meanwhile, has been posting videos of himself driving with windows rolled down through various neighbourhoods at night as he talks about restoring peace to the country. On Friday night, he drove past a plaza in the eastern part of the city that has become the epicentre of the opposition movement and noted how quiet the streets were.
"Look at how peaceful it is here. We're defeating the barricade-builders and violence-bringers," he said.
The weeks of protests were set off by the socialist government's move to nullify the opposition-controlled congress in late March, but demonstrations have escalated into a vehicle for airing grievances against the government for triple-digit inflation, food shortages and a rise in crime.