Venezuela lawmakers injured in protesters' attack on parliament

By Doug G. Ware  |  July 5, 2017 at 3:10 PM
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July 5 (UPI) -- Several Venezuelan lawmakers were injured Wednesday when supporters of President Nicolas Maduro stormed the legislature on the country's national day of independence.

Demonstrators took their protest inside the opposition-controlled National Assembly in Caracas to air grievances that continue to divide the country.

Authorities said several lawmakers were injured in the skirmishes. Some reporters said they were also attacked.

National Assembly President Julio Borges said at least seven legislative staffers and five parliament members were injured.

The clashes occurred as the national lawmaking body is discussing a plebiscite set for July 16 regarding the future of Maduro as Venezuela's president -- an issue at the center of monthslong fighting in Caracas amid the nation's ongoing economic and political crisis.

Officials said the violent clashes Wednesday won't impact discussions about the upcoming plebiscite, which will seek public input about Maduro's future and his rewrite of the Venezuelan Constitution.

The storming of the assembly occurred on Venezuela's national day of independence, July 5, from Spain in 1811.

"Today, 206 years later, the content of our Act of Independence and the reasons for the struggle," parliamentary Delsa Solorzano, who tweeted several images of Wednesday's violence, wrote on her page.

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