Venezuela congress seeks censure of Supreme Court judges

Venezuela congress seeks censure of Supreme Court judges

Hundreds of demonstrators clashed with Venezuelan security forces Tuesday as they tried to rally behind lawmakers locked in a bitter dispute with the administration of President Nicolas Maduro and the Supreme Court.

On March 30 the Supreme Court in Caracas moved to take power from Venezuela's elected National Assembly, which was led by parties opposed to Maduro and has been critical of his policies.

Maduro says the crisis is the result of a capitalist conspiracy.

"It is Mr. Maduro who has ordered shut all the accesses to Caracas to stop people expressing their repudiation", said opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

Maduro has regularly blamed outside forces - particularly the US - for agitating tension in the country as it weathers an array of crippling economic and social problems, and his response to Tuesday's protest maintained that stance. Pary said this kind of actions favor destruction of the OAS institutionality, due to alien interests to the member countries of that regional authority.

But the U.S.is hardly the only country to draw the embattled leader's ire.

Political rivalry between Maduro and the main opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity table has remained after the government lost its majority in the National Assembly in 2015 election in Venezuela.

What's are the protests about?

The move led to widespread criticism from the worldwide community with many claiming that Venezuela was no longer a democracy.

Several thousand angry anti-government protesters took to the streets. Soon residents from the nearby neighborhood got involved, with some taunting opposition protestors.

Video footage from the scene showed police using water cannons, pepper spray and tear gas on the protesters to subdue the angry crowd.

Opposition activists said armed, pro-government gangs on motorcycles fired into the air.

"In Caracas, in Venezuela, peace has triumphed once again".

Maduro supporters, however, cast the latest protests as simply political theater.

"We support Maduro against these attacks, which seek to carry out a coup d'etat", said another demonstrator, Angelo Olivo.

A congressional vote originally scheduled for Tuesday, on whether to oust the Supreme Court judges, was postponed until Wednesday.

Although the court retracted the ruling, protesters said previous court judgments were still limiting the powers of the National Assembly and they fear there are more to come. During an activity in rural Apure state, Maduro told supporters they were "in battle" against "imperialism."From the north, they have given the order to the defeated, fascist right wing to fill the streets of Venezuela with violence", he said late on Tuesday".

A dramatic dip in the price of oil - which accounts for 96 percent of Venezuela's export earnings - and constant food shortages has badly crippled day to day live inVenezuela.

No surprise. The country is in crisis.

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