Anti-Maduro protesters clash with security forces in Venezuela

Protests began after Venezuelan authorities blocked opposition to hold a rally in the country’s capital Caracas.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Demonstrators clash with security forces in Caracas, Venezuela.

Venezuelan security forces used tear gas, water cannons and pepper spray to disperse protesters in Caracas on Tuesday after authorities blocked their planned opposition rally in the country’s capital.

Tensions have remained high in Venezuela's long-running political standoff after the Supreme Court which has consistently sided with the country’s President Nicolas Maduro annulled the opposition-led congress' functions last week.

However it retracted the ruling over the weekend, the National Assembly remains powerless due to previous court judgments.

"We're going to get rid of them, but we have to fight," said Jose Zapata, a 57-year-old electrician who attended the protests.  

Witnesses said police pepper-sprayed various opposition leaders including National Assembly head Julio Borges, twice-presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, and Lilian Tintori, wife of prominent jailed activist Leopoldo Lopez.

TRT World spoke to Noris Argotte in Caracas for the latest.

Subway stations closed

Ahead of the protests, authorities closed subway stations, set up checkpoints and cordoned off the capital city's Plaza Venezuela where anti-Maduro protestors gathered in their latest rally.

Political rivalry between Maduro and the main opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity table has remained after the government lost its majority in the National Assembly in 2015 election in Venezuela.

Last year, the opposition pushed for a referendum to recall Maduro and force a new presidential election, but authorities thwarted them and also postponed local electoral races that were supposed to have been held in 2016.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies