- Title: Women aligned with Venezuela's opposition movement march against Maduro
- Date: 22nd October 2016
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS SINGING
- Embargoed: 6th November 2016 18:31
- Keywords: Maria Corina Machado Nicolas Maduro Lilian Tintori
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0025535HS3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thousands marched in Caracas on Saturday (October 22), calling on the government to respect the Constitution and rejecting the temporary suspension of the process to trigger a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro.
The protest had initially been announced as a women's march, but after the election board suspended the opposition drive on Thursday (October 20), the entire opposition coalition joined the march.
Meanwhile the opposition-led National Assembly has announced and extraordinary session on Sunday (October 23).
"We are sending a message to the international democratic community. In Venezuela there is a dictatorship - declared, cruel, without limits and unleashed. And that is why we women are sending a message to various players, in the first place to the National Assembly to go on the offense. Tomorrow a dictatorship will be declared in Venezuela and the process of removing Nicolas Maduro will begin," said opposition leader Maria Corina Machado.
The protest was led by two wives of imprisoned political leaders: Lilian Tintori, the wife of Leopoldo Lopez, and Patricia Gutierrez, the wife of ousted San Cristobal mayor Daniel Ceballos.
"No one is going to stop us. We are going to rescue democracy, rights, the Venezuelan family, our values," said Tintori.
Venezuela's election board suspended the opposition drive for a recall referendum on Thursday despite the OPEC nation's crushing economic crisis, Maduro's unpopularity and public opinion in favor of a plebiscite.
That left Maduro on track to complete his term, which ends in early 2019, and dashed opposition hopes to force a presidential election and end 17 years of socialist rule.
Thursday's decision came despite intense international pressure on Venezuelan authorities - from the White House to around an increasingly conservative Latin American region - to allow the referendum.
The U.S. State Department said it was "deeply concerned" at the blocking of Venezuelans' right to determine their future.
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