Doctors, nurses protest rule of Venezuela’s socialist leader

August 16, 2018
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Nurses are confronted by a line of police officers during a protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. The nurses were confronted by a phalanx of police officers that prevented them from marching towards Miraflores Presidential Palace several miles away. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Riot police have blocked hundreds of doctors and nurses from marching to Venezuela’s presidential palace to protest low pay and shortages of medical supplies amid the nation’s deepening crisis.

Thursday’s demonstration in Caracas was the first attempt by protesters to reach the presidential palace since massive anti-government protests last year.

The medical professionals are demanding action by President Nicolas Maduro, who’s overseeing a crisis marked by widespread shortages and mass migration from the country.

The once-wealthy oil-producing nation is in crisis economically and politically after two decades of socialist rule.

Rows of heavily armed riot police blocked roughly 400 medical professionals shortly after launching their march.

Ana Rosario Contreras of the Association of Illnesses says they’re demanding the government provide basic supplies to treat patients.

The protest ended without violence.

Update hourly