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As protests continue in Venezuela, the opposition is struggling to keep the demonstrations peaceful. Protesters blocked a highway in the capital, Caracas, for nearly eight hours this week, to show their dedication to civil disobedience as a tool to resist President Nicolás Maduro. But the peaceful protest devolved, as hooded youths filled the highway with burning debris,
rched two trucks, looted a government storage site, and stole medical equipment from an ambulance.
Reuters correspondent Brian Elsworth was at the protests and says that the calm demonstrations can get ugly, quick.>> About five, ten minutes ago, we heard tear gas cans being fired in that direction. This was completely quiet and suddenly jumped into what we're hearing now.>> The opposition so far unsuccessful struggle to contain its violent factions has helped Maduro depict it as a group of thugs plotting to overthrow him.
The opposition has blamed the disturbances on infiltrators planted by the ruling socialist party to delegitimize protests.>> What we're doing here is locking the streets so that the protestors don't pass. We're trying to ask people to protest in a peaceful way. We want the government to know that we want change and that we're tired of everything.
>> Twenty-nine people have been killed so far as anti-government demonstrations enter their fourth week. Venezuelans in the streets to protest shortages in food and supplies and triple digit inflation. While many want Madura to leave, the opposition appears split as how best to make that happen.