Venezuela congress seeks censure of Supreme Court judges

Posted April 07, 2017

A day after two lawmakers were hospitalized with head wounds they suffered during a protest in Venezuela, at least one person was shot and several more were injured on Tuesday.

It led to the protesters battling with police as a few masked youths built barricades, burned rubbish and threw rocks and bottles at the armed forces, according to Reuters. Various opposition leaders organised roadblocks.

"It is Mr. Maduro who has ordered shut all the accesses to Caracas to stop people expressing their repudiation", said opposition leader Henrique Capriles. "About 50-100 guys arrived on bike and started to shoot in the air", protester Bernardo Sanchez told local media, saying a bullet had lodged in his thigh.

In one street, kneeling women sang the national anthem as neighbors banged pots-and-pans from nearby buildings in a show of anger against a government they blame for a deep recession that has led to shortages of food and basics.

"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.

"They want an intervention in Venezuela", said prisons ministry worker Juan Aponte, 34, who wore the red colours of the ruling Socialist Party.

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In a controversial move last week, Venezuela's Supreme Court ruled that it was assuming functions of the opposition-led National Assembly.

An estimated 1,000 people tried to march to the National Assembly to demand the government restore powers to its opposition majority.

The renewed instability sent Venezuelan bonds lower, with the benchmark 2027 paper's price down 4.4%.

Foreign pressure on Maduro has risen as opposition protests restarted late last week.

"We support Maduro against these attacks, which seek to carry out a coup d'etat", said one demonstrator, Angelo Olivo.

Security forces block a street using riot shields and pepper spray during an opposition rally in Caracas, Venezuela April 4, 2017.

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Maduro said that the demonstration was aimed at fostering violence in the country.

"There is no denying that there has been an adjustment of the constitutional order", said OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro.

It didnt help Maduros case (which called the confrontation “an impasse”) that the Organization of American States (OAS) on Monday again warned his government, officially and through a Permanent Council resolution, about such strategies.

"The OAS has surpassed itself in its aggression against Venezuela, he said". "It is a real court of inquisition, carrying out abuses and vulgarities".

A rival pro-government march on the National Assembly was also staged, underlying the tense and combustible nature of an ongoing political crisis driven by a collapsing economy and what the opposition says it Maduro's drive to implement a dictatorship.

This new violation constitutes yet another violation of the civil and political rights of the population, while at the same time violating the right to life and physical integrity of the Venezuelan opposition.

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Any decision congress reaches will be purely symbolic, as it has been neutered by the ruling socialist party and does not have the power to actually replace judges.