The Venezuelan Government Monday deployed hundreds of troops for security in the area of Altamira, one of the major strongholds of opposition in the city of Caracas.

The operation aims to control the violent protests that have occurred in the area in recent days.

From little more than one month ago, Venezuela has experienced a wave of protest against President Nicolas Maduro, which have left at least 29 people dead, including an officer of the National Guard late Monday, after being shot during demonstrations in the city of Maracay the previous day.

The Government troops were concentrated in the Plaza Altamira, a place where in recent months nightly clashes between masked protesters and security forces have taken place.

The Government described the operation as a “liberation” of the neighborhood, a middle-class residential area.

The Minister of the Interior of Venezuela, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, told the State broadcaster Venezolana de Television, that the square is being transformed into “a land for peace”.

The Mayor of the area, the opponent Ramón Muchacho, clarified that the constitutional guarantees to freedom of movement remain and that both the municipal police and his office work normally.

National Guard troops patrolled the area and set up checkpoints, while officials withdrew the barricades erected by protesters.

Strong protests against the Government of Nicolás Maduro have taken place in various parts of the country since February 4.

The protesters complain of the high rates of crime, inflation and shortages of basic commodities.