Security forces cracked down on the latest anti-government protests in Venezuela on Saturday, with violent clashes in Caracas.
Riot police fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets as thousands took to the streets to denounce the decision to ban opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding political office for 15 years.
Protesters lobbed rocks and petrol bombs and burned rubbish in the street.
Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate and current Miranda state governor, was seen by many as the opposition’s best chance in the presidential election scheduled for 2018. But he has been disqualified from holding office for what the national comptroller’s office call ‘administrative irregularities’.
Venezuelans pour into Caracas streets in anti-Maduro protest. https://t.co/mD3aeUF3HM— The Associated Press (@AP) 8 avril 2017
Capriles had urged supporters in the capital to march to the office of the state human rights ombudsman, whom the opposition says is a puppet of the government.
“Venezuela has entered a resistance stage…Now we need to resist dictatorship – because that is the path they have chosen,” he said.
“They” are the authorities of leftist President Nicolas Maduro, decried by critics as a dictator.