Sun May 7, 2017 9:11AM
A Venezuelan opposition activists is seen during a rally in Caracas on May 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
A Venezuelan opposition activists is seen during a rally in Caracas on May 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
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Thousands of women in Venezuela have staged an anti-government protest against President Nicolas Maduro, as political crisis deepens in the country.

Dressed in white, the protesters took to the streets in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas and other major cities in the Latin American country on Saturday, blaming Maduro’s socialist government for the economic plight of the people and the shortages of food and medicine.

Holding roses and chanting “Liberty!,” the demonstrators demanded that delayed state elections be held and the date for the 2018 presidential vote be brought forward.

They also called on the Venezuelan government to release scores of imprisoned activists and allow in humanitarian aid from abroad to offset the paralyzing economic crisis.

“Just let us vote, and this will all end, there is too much suffering in Venezuela. If we have to, we will give our lives in the streets until Maduro goes,” said a 22-year-old protesting teacher in the women’s march in Caracas.

“It is important to us to get out of this for the good of Venezuela, for Venezuela to be once again the Venezuela we all know, the one we love, the one we carry in our hearts… There are no opportunities to work here, no opportunities to live, there is no security for our lives,” said another protester.

Venezuelan opposition activists take part in a women’s march in Caracas, Venezuela, May 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

A rival rally was also held in the capital city by Maduro’s supporters.

Police were forced to use tear gas to disperse the pockets of violent protesters who pelted riot police with fire bombs and projectiles. A number of people were reportedly injured during the skirmishes.

The Saturday march was the latest in a series of anti-government demonstrations held over the past month.

Reports say at least 37 people have lost their lives since the latest anti-Maduro protests broke out in early April; and victims have included the supporters of both sides, bystanders, and members of the security forces.

The last death in Venezuela’s unrest occurred on Thursday, when a 33-year-old university student, identified as Juan Lopez, was shot dead during a student gathering in the city of El Tigre.

Venezuela has been gripped by a wave of protests that broke out after the Supreme Court stripped the opposition-controlled parliament of its powers. Although the decision was later revoked, protests have only gained momentum.

The government says the protests are incited by the Unites Stated to remove President Maduro from power and accuses the opposition of hiring armed gangs.