May Day marches had a political edge in Venezuela as the opposition led by Henrique Capriles pledged to ask the Supreme Court to order a re-count of the recent presidential election.
State workers taking part in the rally complained of pressure to support the government, as a bid they say to quash dissent after the slim election victory by President Maduro.
“We are not satisfied with any increase in the minimum wage announced by Maduro. We are more interested in proposing an end to the repression and harassment by the government against workers and union leaders, simply because we go out to protest,” complained opposition supporter Pedro Garcia.
But opposition allegations of electoral irregularities have been dismissed by pro-Maduro supporters who also held their own May Day rally .
“Here we have workers who are proud of everything that our (late) President Hugo Chavez has done and who continues to rule through the mandate of our elected president Maduro,” said Zuleika Pina, a government supporter.
The rival rallies were deliberately kept apart after bitterness between the two sides spilled over into a punch-up in parliament on Tuesday.