TAMPA — Hundreds of people, many waving Venezuelan flags, gathered at a busy Tampa intersection on Saturday to protest the ongoing political violence in the South American country.
The international group Un Mundo Sin Mordaza organized the nationwide day of protest and about 150 cities participated. A second group called Move helped organize the local event, said Juan Pinto, a Tampa organizer with Un Mundo Sin Mordaza.
He estimated that 1,000 people were in attendance at the protest's peak about 3 p.m. at N Dale Mabry Highway and W Columbus Drive.
Word spread across social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. People came from cities including St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland and Sarasota to show support for the protesters in Venezuela, he said.
Student protests began across Venezuela earlier this month, and three people were killed Feb. 12. Protesters are demanding better security, freedom of speech and no more goods shortages, blaming the problems on President Nicolas Maduro.