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This evening's protest in Ballsbridge. Facebook/WorkersParty

A protest on Dublin's Embassy Row has called on the US to stay away from Venezuela

The protest was organised by The Workers Party.

A PROTEST WAS held in Ballsbridge in Dublin this evening against what organisers said is the attempt by the United States to further destabilise the situation in Venezuela and overthrow its government.

The protest was organised by The Workers Party and was supported by anti-war campaigners The Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) and LookLeft Magazine.

Months of political unrest in Venezuela have seen an estimated 130 people killed in street protests and clashes between rival supporters and police.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded socialist leader Hugo Chavez, has come under increased pressure due to an economic crisis that has caused shortages of food and medicine.

Maduro has blamed the downturn on an “economic war” waged against his socialist government by a conspiracy of right-wing opponents and the United States.

In response to growing recent violence and unrest, Maduro held an election last Sunday for a new Constituent Assembly.

The powerful new assembly has been placed over the National Assembly and has been tasked with rewriting the constitution. The United States, Argentina and Brazil are among those who have criticised the establishment of the assembly.

Venezuela Political Crisis Residents shout slogans against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro outside a military base. Juan Carlos Hernandez / PA Images Juan Carlos Hernandez / PA Images / PA Images

The election result saw the assembly filled with Maduro loyalists and led to the United States slapping economic sanctions on some Venezuelan politicians loyal to the government.

Among those targeted was the brother of former president Hugo Chavez.

The sanctions stopped short, however, of imposing restrictions on Venezuela’s oil industry. Such sanctions would be crippling to the country’s economy and Reuters reports that they are still being considered by US officials.

Speaking ahead of today’s protest at the US Embassy in Ballsbridge, Workers’ Party representative Gavin Mendel-Gleason said the US was engaging in “ dangerous and destabilising actions in Venezuela”.

“The US Secretary of State Tillerson has stated unequivocally that the US are seeking to overthrow the government of Venezuela. They have implemented some sanctions, floated others, and hinted at direct support for an opposition coup,” Mendel-Gleason said.

You cannot, on the one hand, claim that the economic situation is dire and that people need relief, and then turn around and slap them with severe economic sanctions. It’s no exaggeration to state that people will die as a direct result of sanctions.

Roger Cole of PANA also spoke ahead of this evening’s protest and said that the recent electoral results should not be used as a pretext by the US to interfere in Venezuela.

“The US is not genuinely concerned about human rights and democracy. Instead, it is promoting its own programme of geopolitical and economic control over South America,” Cole said.

Read: Anti-government ‘mercenaries’ hunted after stealing weapons in attack on Venezuelan army base >

Read: Venezuela’s currency is crumbling as unrest rages in the country >

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