Venezuela protesters demanding new elections tear-gassed by police
Thousands of protesters demanding new elections for the second week faced off with security forces who launched tear gas and stood shoulder-to-shoulder blocking roadways in the Venezuelan capital on Monday.
Demonstrators covered their faces to protect against the plumes of tear gas that wafted through the streets of Caracas. “We need to get out on the street and fight, to tell these people we don't want them,” said Maria Guedez, a 67-year-old homemaker carrying a sign that read, “No more dictatorship.”
On Sunday President Nicolás Maduro called on the opposition to return to stymied efforts at dialogue and said he was eager for regional elections to take place. But opposition leaders renewed calls to take to the streets, saying Maduro's words have no credibility until a full election timeline has been formally established.
Monday's protest took place at the start of Easter Week, when many Venezuelans typically spend quiet time at home with family or go on vacation. Opposition party leaders urged people to put any beach plans on hold and instead get some sun while out putting pressure on the government.
Authorities shut down several metro stations citing security reasons, but thousands nonetheless walked to the march.
A dozen people were injured in the protest Monday and eighteen people were detained. Opposition leaders shared a video that showed an infant being whisked away after being overcome by tear gas and a picture of an expired tear gas canister they said was found detonated at a previous demonstration.