Venezuelan opposition leaders call for new elections as violence escalates

Latin America

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has insisted on a new constitution for the country. Leaders of the opposition have demanded new elections. International pressure is growing and so is tension inside the country.

CGTN’s Juan Carlos Lamas reports from Caracas.

Venezuelan opposition leaders call for new elections as violence escalates

Venezuelan opposition leaders call for new elections as violence escalates

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has insisted on a new constitution for the country. Leaders of the opposition have demanded new elections. International pressure is growing and so is tension inside the country.

Opposition leaders refuse to meet with Maduro to discuss his plan, and they said they’ll continue taking to the streets to protest. The clashes have been violent, with dozens of people killed, many more wounded, and as many as 2,000 people arrested. Opposition leaders have said the government is using military tribunals to punish protesters.

The government has not confirmed the number of arrests or the military processing of suspects. President Maduro addressed the country on national television Monday, saying his government is facing an armed insurrection. He also said the new assembly will include members of the military.

International pressure has continued to escalate,. The Secretary General of the OAS said what Venezuela needs is new elections and a peaceful transition of power, not the new constitution President Maduro has promised.

Meanwhile, there’s talk of possible new oil sanctions from the United States. Most foreign income in Venezuela comes from selling oil, and the U.S. is one of the biggest importers of Venezuelan oil.

As opposition leaders and the government both call for street demonstrations, the situation in Venezuela grows worse each day. Venezuelans are coping with extreme shortages of food and medicine, high levels of unemployment and spiraling crime rates.