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Westwood protest against Venezuelan government scheduled

DemonstrationPolitical DissentVenezuela

A demonstration in support of anti-government protests in Venezuela is scheduled Saturday afternoon at the federal building in Westwood, one of more than 100 taking place across the U.S. and the world, organizers said.

The protest is being organized by Jovenes Independientes (Independent Youth), a group of Venezuelans living in the U.S., that sprung up since the protests aganist the government of that country's president, Nicolas Maduro, began about 10 days ago.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles Friday night to protest the failure of Gustavo Dudamel, conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a Venezuelan, to speak out against Maduro.

Pro- and anti-Maduro demonstrations continued Saturday in Caracas, the 10th day of protests. The government says that eight people have been killed and 137 injured, although others have put the figures higher.

Enrique Caldera, a filmmaker who is one of the organizers of the Westwood demonstration, said Venezuelans in the U.S. talk to relatives in their homeland daily.

"Ask anybody here about the last conversation they had with their family members and they will say it had to do with someone being scared or shot, a lack of food, a family member injured and no medicine in hospitals," Caldera said.

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jeff.gottlieb@latimes.com

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