Venezuela's Maduro gives details of plan to rewrite charter

Venezuela's Maduro gives details of plan to rewrite charter

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused protesters of setting fire to a government supporter.

Street protests and worldwide pressure "could lead to divisions within the government or within the armed forces or between the government and the armed forces", said David Smilde, a Venezuela expert at the Washington Office on Latin America, a nongovernmental organization.

According to Lucena, Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) has chose to hold the National Constituent Assembly elections in late July, while regional elections are scheduled to take place in December.

Maduro foes countered that was a sham created to confuse Venezuelans, prompt infighting among the opposition over strategy, and allow the unpopular leftist government to dodge free and fair elections they would likely lose.

The fires come after at least one person was killed during protests in Barinas Monday. She added that elections for representatives of the National Constituent Assembly are expected to be held in mid-July.

Three people were killed in violent riots in late president Hugo Chavez s home state of Barinas, bringing the death toll to 51 as the unrest entered its eighth week, the public prosecution service said.

Though there have been some demonstrations in support of Maduro's regime, most are anti-government demonstrations decrying the country's economic collapse under Maduro's government and what the opposition says is the deterioration of democracy and the violent repression of peaceful protesters at the hands of Venezuelan security forces. The last time a National Constituent Assembly was convened in 1999.

That system could skew even a nation overwhelmingly frustrated with Maduro's government in its favor, analysts said.

Opposition lawmakers called a session for yesterday to discuss the violence.

Government opponents have argued that the assembly is a gambit to further marginalize the opposition under the guise of a democratic election.

A protester writes the Spanish message: "Lacking: antibiotics, insulin, manidon" on a police barrier blocking anti-government protesters from reaching the Health Ministry, during a protest by medical professionals demanding Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro open a so-called humanitarian corridor for the delivery of medicine and food aid, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 22, 2017. The prosecutor has panned his assembly plan and a Supreme Court magistrate also criticized it. Opposition leaders say various military dissenters have been rounded up.

The government alleged he was attacked for being a Maduro supporter.

In the lower middle-class Caracas neighborhood of El Paraiso, masked men on Monday night shot up an apartment building and parked cars in what one resident, who asked not to be named out of fear of reprisals, said was retaliation for nearby barricades set up by opposition sympathizers.

The government says the opposition wants a coup and many demonstrators are simply vandals.

More than 200,000 protesters rallied overall on Saturday in Caracas and the western city of San Cristobal, according to estimates by the opposition and AFP reporters.