CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Venezuela: Demonstrators Flood Caracas in Support of Recall Referendum

Nicolas Maduro
(Photo : Cumbre Panamá / Wikimedia / CC)
Nicolas Maduro, current president of Venezuela.

About a million protesters flooded the streets of the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Thursday to demand the constitutional right to recall referendum.

The peaceful protesters waved flags and wore white while marching. Police were deployed in the city to maintain law and order during the protest.

"There is no food. There is no paper. There is no medicine. We are dying," a protester Maria Alvarez told CNN. "Please, help Venezuela. This has to end. Maduro, you have to understand that your time is up."

The protesters resorted to violence by vandalizing and burning cars, throwing Molotov cocktails, and blocking roads in some parts of the city.

President Nicolas Maduro urged the Venezuelan people to fight for peace in Caracas, and to raise their voice against the opposition's plans to provoke violence.

"The people didn't stay at home, they went out to the streets and will always do this. This is a conscious people and will be mobilized forever," Maduro said at the rally.

A few protesters wore masks and threw rocks at the police. The police then used tear gas to bring them under control and detained some of the rioters.

Maduro said that those who incite violence in the city will be prosecuted.

In view of the recent events, he said that he will withdraw immunity protections from politicians, so that the suspected coup-plotters in parliament could be prosecuted by courts.

Maduro told the rally of supporters, who also took to the streets, that the opposition wants to carry out a coup to overthrow his government in a similar coup attempt as in 2002 which sought to oust his late predecessor Hugo Chavez.

"We are here at the call of our President, to defend the revolution," Carolina Aponte, a 37-year-old housewife at the pro-government rally, was quoted as saying by AFP.

The referendum had moved a step closer in July when the National Electoral Council (CNE) verified 1 percent of the signatures on recall petition required in the process. Some 20 percent of the signatures of registered voters (3.9 million signatures) are needed to for the recall voting to be confirmed.

The MUD (Mesa de la Unidad/Democratic Unity Roundtable), which holds power in Venezuelan parliament, asked the CNE to make available 14,500 centers and 40,000 computers for people to sign the petition.

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