Police Clash With Protestors Across Country Demanding Recall Referendum

President Maduro dismisses a recall referendum as “optional.” It is estimated that around two dozen protests take place across Venezuela, including more than one thousand people in the capital Caracas, where police fire tear gas at protestors as large parts of the city are closed down. In particular, police block access to the National Electoral Council, which is obstructing the recall referendum process. 

A Guardian report notes, “in 2014, Maduro was able to dismiss the protests of that year – which left 43 dead – as a ‘revolt of the rich’… Now, however, nobody would dare boast of the country’s social wellbeing.” Business Insider calls the protests “staggering” and comments “What's worth noting now, though, is that an important shift is taking place in the way Venezuelans are talking about Maduro and his regime. They have started disconnecting it from Chavez. To the people, Chavez is still close to God.”