Political opposition leader shot dead at rally in Venezuela

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An opposition politician in Venezuela has been shot to death at a rally in the run-up to parliamentary elections, his party said.

Luis Manuel Diaz, a local official for the Democratic Action party, was gunned down at the event in the town of Altgracia de Orituco on Wednesday, the party said in a statement.

“Democratic Action denounces and condemns the assassination,” the statement said.
It wasn’t clear who carried out the attack.

Henry Ramos Allup, the party’s national secretary general, said on Twitter that the shooting had been
carried out by attackers in a vehicle.

He complained of increasing violence against opposition activists and candidates.

Opposition politicians say their candidates have
been attacked on numerous occasions in the past
weeks.

Miguel Pizarro, an opposition politician running for re-election in Caracas, said he was confronted by
armed men who shot into the air in the neighbourhood of Petare on Sunday.

Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles said he was attacked by a group of masked men in the town of Yare earlier this month.

Mr Capriles said the men, who he alleged were government supporters, had opened fire to stop him from holding a campaign rally.

The government has denied any involvement in any of the attacks and accused the opposition of trying to provoke PSUV supporters.

The PSUV currently holds a majority of seats in parliament.

Democratic Action, which is among an alliance of parties challenging the ruling socialist party of President Nicolas Maduro, called for “an immediate, thorough and independent investigation” into the killing of Luis Diaz.

“We express our most energetic rejection of all types of violence which could affect the electoral
process,” they wrote on Twitter.

Venezuelans will go to the polls on December 6 to elect a new National Assembly amid an economic crisis resulting from the collapse in oil prices.

Venezuela, which has the world’s largest oil reserves, relies on the natural resource to drive its
economy.

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