- Title: Clashes kill five as Venezuelans protest vote for new congress
- Date: 28th July 2017
- Summary: VIOLINIST, WUILLY ARTEAGA, PLAYING IN ROAD AMONG PROTESTERS MAN ESCORTING VIOLINIST AWAY
- Embargoed: 11th August 2017 01:00
- Keywords: Venezuela Nicolas Maduro clashes tear gas constituent assembly violinist Wuilly Arteaga
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA0026RHVK1Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Clashes between Venezuelan security forces and demonstrators have killed five people during the latest opposition-led strike to protest an election on Sunday (July 30) that critics contend will mark the end of democracy in the oil-rich country.
Critics of President Nicolas Maduro are taking to the streets to pile more pressure on the unpopular leftist leader President Nicolas Maduro. But they were dispersed by members of the National Guard lobbing tear gas canisters at the demonstration and making arrests.
At least 108 people have died in anti-government unrest convulsing Venezuela since April, when the opposition launched protests demanding free and fair elections to end nearly two decades of socialist rule.
Instead, Maduro has put forth an election for the Constituent Assembly, which would have power to rewrite the constitution and shut down the existing opposition-led legislature. The opposition says the move would cement dictatorship in Venezuela.
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol warned that protests were banned from Friday to Tuesday, leaving open the likelihood of more violence in volatile Venezuela. Many Venezuelans are nervous and have been stocking up on food and staying home.
Voters on Sunday will choose 364 constitutional representatives distributed across municipalities and state capitals and another 181 "sectoral" candidates from demographic groups ranging from students to farmers and fisherman. The opposition Democratic Unity coalition is boycotting the vote, arguing candidates are stacked in the government's favour.
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