Student protesters marching to protest against what they perceive as bias by Venezuela’s electoral council clashed on Thursday with supporters of the late President Hugo Chavez.
« We are here to demand fair and clean elections, » said Juan Urdaneta, a student leader who traveled hundreds of miles from the western state of Zulia to participate in the demonstration. The protesters marched behind a sound truck playing the national anthem into downtown Caracas, chanting and blowing plastic horns.
Police in riot gear blocked off the avenue leading to the National Electoral Council in downtown Caracas. About 100 government supporters quickly gathered and began throwing rocks and bottles at the students.
It was unclear how many people had been injured, but student leader activist Francisco Rodriguez said at least 10 people from his side had been hurt, most of them hit with rocks.
The students were demanding the electoral council eliminate requirements that voters have their fingerprints recorded before voting and that it prevent the government from seizing television and radio airwaves at will to allow acting president Nicolas Maduro to promote his candidacy.
Des étudiants vénézuéliens qui défient un gouvernement liberticide…
Ironiquement, les carrés rouges québécois sont de grands admirateurs d’Hugo Chavez… Qui se ressemble s’assemble !