Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations, meeting with Venezuela’s Foreign Minister on Friday, asked the country’s authorities not to use lethal force against protesters.
It is evident from a statement by Guterres, where he also writes that the United Nations will continue to work with Venezuela to help residents in need. Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told reporters that the Venezuelan military “will never be ordered to shoot against the civilian population” and that “they are there to defend Venezuelan territory against any armed attack against our country”.
Earlier Friday it was reported that two people were killed and at least 15 wounded in clashes between villagers and government soldiers in Venezuela, according to the human rights group Kape Kape. According to the Washington Post, members of an indigenous group attacked a military column trying to pass a roadblock at the village of Kumarakapai.
The soldiers opened fire with rubber-clad steel balls and used tear gas during the collision. The villagers tried to keep part of the border open, in order to be able to escape emergency aid.
Arreaza was also in the UN headquarters on Friday also in meeting representatives from countries supporting President Nicolás Maduro’s regime, including Russia, Bolivia, Syria and North Korea.