- Title: Clashes erupt at Caracas opposition protest
- Date: 24th May 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (MAY 24, 2017) (REUTERS) DEMONSTRATORS GATHERED WITH WISPS OF TEAR GAS ABOVE THEM PROTESTERS WITH CARDBOARD SHIELDS AND PURPLE HELMETS HOLDING FLAMING TORCHES AMID TEAR GAS PROTESTERS AMID CLOUDS OF TEAR GAS PROTESTERS CROUCHING BEHIND CARDBOARD SHIELDS AMID HAZE OF TEAR GAS MAN CARRYING WOMAN OVERCOME BY TEAR GAS OPPOSITION LEADER HENRIQUE CAPRILES AMID PROTEST CAPRILES RUNNING PROTESTERS FENDING OFF OBJECTS WITH MAKESHIFT SHIELDS PROTESTER FIRING SLINGSHOT RIOT POLICE WITH SHIELDS CLOUDS OF TEAR GAS COMING UP FROM THE GROUND PROTESTERS DUCKING BEHIND CARDBOARD SHIELDS RIOT POLICE WITH SHIELDS CLOUDS OF TEAR GAS PROTESTERS WEARING VENEZUELAN FLAGS CLIMBING OVER BARRICADES PROTESTER WAVING ARM IN THE AIR AND SINGING (UNINTELLIGIBLE) PROTESTERS RUNNING, CARRYING INJURED COMPANION GENERAL VIEW OF PROTESTERS ON BRIDGE WITH TEAR GAS PROTESTERS RUNNING AS WATER CANNON SPRAYS GENERAL VIEW OF WATER CANNON BEARING DOWN ON PROTESTERS PROTESTERS RUNNING PROTESTERS AMID HAZE OF TEAR GAS POLICE ON MOTORCYCLES GENERAL VIEW OF POLICE ON MOTORCYCLES VARIOUS OF OPPOSITION LEADER AND WIFE OF JAILED OPPOSITION LEADER LEOPOLDO LOPEZ, LILIAN TINTORI, WALKING WITH HELMET (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OPPOSITION LEADER AND WIFE OF JAILED OPPOSITION LEADER LEOPOLDO LOPEZ, LILIAN TINTORI, SAYING: "The protest continues in Venezuela, all Venezuela is onto the 350 [referring to Article 350 of the Constitution which is a mechanism by which the Venezuelan people move not to recognize the authority of a government they consider illegitimate] rejecting a regime that violates human rights and does not respect the democratic rules. The country is in the street because we want general elections - and not in December. Now, now." PROTESTERS CARRYING SHIELDS HAZE OF TEAR GAS OVER PROTESTERS VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS RUNNING THROUGH TEAR GAS
- Embargoed: 7th June 2017 21:33
- Keywords: Henrique Capriles Lilian Tintori tear gas protest crisis Nicolas Maduro
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016I79WLJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Clashes erupted in Caracas on Wednesday (May 24) as protesters marched against leftist President Nicolas Maduro.
National Guard troops fired clouds of tear gas as protesters ran, ducked behind makeshift shields and helped friends overcome by the gas. Security forces also deployed water cannon which bore down on protesters.
Opposition leaders Henrique Capriles and Lilian Tintori, the wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, joined the demo.
The protests have turned into a daily event in recent weeks but Wednesday's was largely directed at a pro-government electoral council announcement the day before that said voting for a controversial "constituent assembly" would be held in July and delayed state elections in December.
Maduro foes countered that was a sham designed to confuse Venezuelans, prompt infighting among the opposition over strategy, and allow the unpopular leftist government to dodge free and fair elections they would likely lose.
Opposition lawmakers say the assembly, whose 540 members will be elected on a municipal level and by community groups like workers, will be filled with government stooges who will merely obey Maduro's orders to rewrite the constitution.
Maduro says he is facing an "armed insurrection" and the constituent assembly, a super body that will supersede all other public powers, is the way to restore peace to Venezuela.
The opposition is calling for a referendum to be held on whether to proceed with election to the Constituent Assembly, whilst some are calling for Article 350 of the constitution to be activated, a mechanism by which the Venezuelan people move not to recognise the authority of a government they consider illegitimate.
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