Unrest continues in Venezuela after Maduro calls for new constitution

Supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's political opposition took over streets in Caracas again on Wednesday. At least 33 Venezuelans have died during the month-long demonstrations.  

Amid requests for an electoral process, Maduro fired back on May Day with a push for a new "constituent assembly" and a call for a new constitution. He referred to the demonstrations as a "fascist coup" and said peace needed to be imposed. 

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said Maduro was behaving like a dictator who wants to avoid an electoral process. Maduro's opposition won control of The National Assembly during 2015 elections.

 

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The Venezuelan interior minister announced that there was a suspension of the right to carry arms for 180 days to "guarantee security, peace and order."

Authorities continued to block the large marches from advancing to government buildings in downtown Caracas. The requests for elections were met with officials in riot gear, water tanks, rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and sometimes even shootings. 

When the demonstrators ran into the Centro Ciudad Comercial Tamanaco, authorities fired tear gas inside the shopping mall. Medical students continued to carry the wounded. 

Among the estimated 400 injured during the protests in Caracas was opposition lawmaker Jose Olivares. A tear gas canister hit him in the head. 

 

{"url":"https://twitter.com/coweddle/status/859841166136807424","author_name":"Cody Weddle","author_url":"https://twitter.com/coweddle","html":"&#lt;blockquote class="twitter-tweet"&#gt;&#lt;p lang="en" dir="ltr"&#gt;The national guard advances, crowds retreat. &#lt;a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YoReportoEl3M?src=hash"&#gt;#YoReportoEl3M&#lt;/a&#gt; &#lt;a href="https://t.co/OaEVoXYBXa"&#gt;pic.twitter.com/OaEVoXYBXa&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt;— Cody Weddle (@coweddle) &#lt;a href="https://twitter.com/coweddle/status/859841166136807424"&#gt;May 3, 2017&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;n&#lt;script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;","width":550,"height":null,"type":"rich","cache_age":"3153600000","provider_name":"Twitter","provider_url":"https://twitter.com","version":"1.0"}

 

Once the peaceful marches have faced violence, younger demonstrators heat things up in the afternoon. They are throwing stones, gasoline bombs and using fires to make barricades. 

Fitness instructors were training demonstrators in middle class neighborhoods. Mothers were using thin roofing metal to create shields and filling glass containers with paint. 

 

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Aside from the demonstrations, an economic crisis was fueling riots over food shortages and crime. Maduro's predecessor and mentor, Hugo Chavez, promised the 1999 rewrite constitution would last for centuries. He was in power for 14 years. 

 

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.