Explosion Rocks Caracas, Injures Cops As Venezuela Votes
With opposition parties boycotting what they call a rigged election, Reuters reports the streets of Caracas were deserted on Sunday as a minority of Venezuelans trickled to the polls to elect a constitutional super-body that unpopular leftist President Maduro vowed would begin a new era of combat in the crisis-stricken nation. That is good news as, following the death of two people yesterday, shortly after a large group of motorbikes sped through the city, and explosion hit, reportedly injuring a number of police officers.
A number of police officers were injured in Venezuela’s capital Caracas after an explosion during an anti-government protest decrying a vote for a constituent assembly on Sunday, according to a Reuters witness.
Further details were not immediately available.
The moment of the explosion…
— TVVenezuela Noticias (@TVVnoticias) July 30, 2017
Social media is awash with clips of injured (it is uncertain if this is from the explosion)…
— Elyangelica Gonzalez (@ElyangelicaNews) July 30, 2017
For now, the fire from the explosion continues…
As a reminder, Reuters reports, Maduro, widely disliked for overseeing an economic collapse during four years in office, has pressed ahead with the vote to create the all-powerful assembly despite the threat of further U.S. sanctions and months of opposition protests in which more than 115 people have been killed. Opposition parties are boycotting what they call a rigged election. Their sympathizers planned protests on highways across the South American country and scuffles were already reported in the provinces – raising the prospect of violent clashes with tens of thousands of troops deployed to safeguard the vote.
Authorities confirmed there were two deaths on Saturday, including the killing of a candidate to the assembly during a robbery, while the opposition put the total death toll in Saturday’s protests at five.
Critics say the assembly will allow Maduro to dissolve the opposition-run Congress, delay future elections and rewrite electoral rules to prevent the socialists from being voted out of power in the once-prosperous OPEC nation.
The opposition has vowed to redouble its resistance and U.S. President Donald Trump has promised broader economic sanctions against Venezuela after the vote, suggesting the oil-rich nation’s crisis is set to escalate.
“Even if they win today, this won’t last long,” said opposition supporter Berta Hernandez, a 60-year-old doctor, in a wealthy Caracas district. “I’ll continue on the streets because, not long from now, this will come to an end.”