The Latest: Ministers urge EU to mediate in Venezuela

The Latest: Ministers urge EU to mediate in Venezuela
Roadblocks set up by anti-government protesters block a street in the Cotiza neighborhood during clashes with security forces as some residents show support for a mutiny by a National Guard unit in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. Venezuela's government said Monday it put down the mutiny. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on a National Guard uprising in Venezuela (all times local):

9:20 a.m.

Foreign ministers of five European countries say they want the European Union to take an active role in international mediation they deem necessary in Venezuela, where the opposition is readying for a new round of anti-government protests on Wednesday.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the foreign affairs ministers of Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands are urging EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to intensify contacts to establish “as soon as possible” a so-called “Group of International Contact.”

“It’s crucially important for Europe to have a significant presence in such Group of Contact in order to promote adequately our common interests,” the statement says.

Venezuela plunged deeper into turmoil Monday as security forces put down a pre-dawn uprising by National Guardsmen that triggered violent street protests.


9 a.m.

Working class neighborhoods in Venezuela’s capital are sifting through charred rubble and smoldering trash after violence erupted a day earlier.

Local merchant Carmen Martinez said Tuesday her neighbors in Caracas took to the streets because they were fed up with rising costs and a lack of basic goods.

Isolated protests broke out after officials arrested more than two dozen National Guardsmen who mounted an uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.

Drivers in one neighborhood veered around an overturned trash bin in the middle of a busy street. Security forces left behind dozens of empty tear gas canisters fired to subdue angry residents.

Student Jesus Veroes says he’s saddened by a clash with police in his neighborhood that left an important cultural center a burned ruin.

Large demonstrations nationwide are expected Wednesday.