- Title: Clashes erupt in streets of Caracas
- Date: 8th April 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (APRIL 8, 2017) (REUTERS) DEMONSTRATORS IN STREET FILLED WITH TEAR GAS VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS CLASHING WITH POLICE POLICE IN RIOT GEAR, ARMOURED VEHICLE SHOOTING TEAR GAS DEMONSTRATOR DODGING A TEAR GAS CANISTER AS HE THROWS A BOTTLE AT POLICE DEMONSTRATORS THROWING OBJECTS AT POLICE POLICE WITH SHIELDS SHIELDS FIRING TEAR GAS AT DEMONSTRATORS VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS OPPOSITION LAWMAKER, SIMON CALZADILLA, SUFFERING EFFECTS OF TEAR GAS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OPPOSITION LAWMAKER, SIMON CALZADILLA, SAYING: "They need to respect the constitutional thread. They need to respect the autonomy of the National Assembly. And once and for all we can use the electoral process to define our country's future. That is the response the Venezuelan people are giving to this abuse and the banning of political leaders." VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS SETTING UP ROAD BLOCK AND THROWING TEAR GAS CANISTERS FIRED BY POLICE BACK AT POLICE IN RIOT GEAR WATER CANNON TRUCK ADVANCING AND SPRAYING DEMONSTRATORS DEMONSTRATOR BEING SPRAYED BY WATER CANNON VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS ATTACKING WATER CANNON TRUCK MORE OF WATER CANNON / TEAR GAS VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATOR HELPING ANOTHER WHO IS FEELING EFFECTS OF TEAR GAS MORE OF DEMONSTRATION POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS VARIOUS OF CLASHES BETWEEN POLICE AND DEMONSTRATORS DEMONSTRATORS HELPING INJURED DEMONSTRATOR LEAVE CLASHES VARIOUS CLASHES
- Embargoed: 22nd April 2017 22:02
- Keywords: Venezuela clashes demonstration protest police Nicolas Maduro
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA0016BJGJET
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Clashes erupted in the streets of Caracas on Saturday (April 8) as protesters marched following a government ban of a top opposition leader from office.
The ban, which would bar opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding public office for 15 years, breathed life into a fractured opposition movement and fuelled the first sustained anti-government demonstrations since 2014.
Thousands of people, some carrying signs reading "No to dictatorship!" and "Capriles for President" took part in marches against the unpopular leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro.
As they day of protest continued, the marches broke down into violent clashes between police and demonstrators.
Police fired tear gas and water cannon on demonstrators who responded by hurling rocks, bottles and other objects at police.
At one point a group of demonstrators attacked a water cannon truck that was spraying protesters.
A Reuters witness said at least two people were injured by police who were seen firing rubber bullets towards protesters.
Opposition lawmaker Simon Calzadilla was caught in the crossfire of tear gas and called on the government to respect the constitution and the National Assembly.
He also condemned the banning of political leaders from holding office.
Government critics say Capriles' ban is arbitrary and allows the ruling Socialist Party to sideline popular politicians without due process.
Venezuela has been pummelled by a brutal economic crisis that has millions skipping meals, unable to afford soaring prices for basic goods and facing long lines for scarce products.
Over the last few days, authorities accused the opposition - and Capriles in particular - of fomenting violence and bloodshed by leading increasingly intense protests against Maduro.
The opposition says it is security forces who are unnecessarily violent. A 19-year-old man was shot dead in violence around protests on Thursday (April 6), and a police officer has been arrested.
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