Venezuela election day turns violent, leaves ten dead

In a wave of bloodshed, ten have been killed in the last 24 hours of the Venezuela protests. The protests turned violent during the elections to choose members of the all-powerful new legislative body that is supposed to reform the country’s constitution. According to an Indian Express report, protesters had swarmed the streets and attacked polling stations, which drew fire from the security forces.

The shootings left a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old in the western state of Tachira, as well as a soldier and a 30-year old regional leader of a youth opposition party, taking the total death toll over the last four months to 120, reported Al Jazeera. Many more protesters with bullet wounds were moved to Colombia for treatment. The national guard troops were deployed to disperse the protesters and used armoured vehicles, rubber bullets and tear gas.

AFP quoted senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles saying “We do not recognize this fraudulent process,” at the close of voting on Sunday. The opposition has boycotted the elections, calling it a method to consolidate unpopular president Nicolas Maduro’s power. Since his election in 2013, he has faced months of protests of economic crises and food shortages.

The United States has condemned the violence, calling it a sham and urged neighbouring countries to take action against those who “undermine democracy, deny human rights.”

 

Sources: Indian Express, Al Jazeera

 

Attack on Venezuelan Supreme Court through police helicopter

A Venezuelan Police helicopter which was seen hovering over the internal ministry and Supreme Court building, launched grenades at the latter which fortunately failed to detonate, on the evening of June 27, 2017, in what is being called an attack by “terrorists”, according to a statement  given by the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on state-run TV channel.

The video, the first proof of incidence, capturing the movement of the helicopter over the two government buildings is being incessantly circulated over the internet. In another video, Oscar Perez, who worked as a Captain in a governmental investigative and intelligence body, is seen with four other armed men, who are said to be the conspirators behind the attack, according to a report by Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional.

The country has been witnessing protests from several months, from the opposition as well as citizens, in which 75 people have died, as reported by The Independent. The government is in the process of exercising even more power over the opposition-run Congress by rewriting the National Charter, for which the voting is scheduled to be held on July 30.

The Socialist President has clearly issued a warning against his opponents saying, “We would never give up, and what couldn’t be done with votes, we would do with weapons, we would liberate the fatherland with weapons.”

Sources: Al Jazeera, Reuters