Venezuelan deputies approve removal of judges; 18 held after protests

Venezuela's opposition lawmakers, some carrying injuries from this week's protests, on Wednesday sought the dismissal of Supreme Court justices whom they accuse of propping up a socialist dictatorship.

Opposition leaders also announced another round of demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro for Thursday, despite chaos and violence in Caracas on Tuesday that left 20 injured and 18 arrested.

"We are going to keep fighting for change, opposing repression and dictatorship," lawmaker Juan Requesens, who had a gash on his head, said at 6:30 a.m. while en route to the National Assembly’s session. Requesens received more than 50 stitches after being hit by a stone when pro-government supporters confronted protesters at the public ombudsman's office earlier this week.

The Caracas-based Penal Forum rights group said 18 people were still behind bars on Wednesday after detentions around the country, but mostly in Caracas and at least 20 people were injured.

The head of the hemispheric Organization of American States and global rights group Amnesty International both condemned Venezuela for excessive repression.

Lawmakers passed a motion on Wednesday denouncing the "rupture" of Venezuela's constitution and another asking for the removal of Supreme Court judges. But that would be merely symbolic since the Venezuelan parliament requires the support of other institutions, which are behind Maduro, to dismiss the judges.