Hundreds of college students who tried to march to the headquarters of the National Electoral Council to demand “clean and fair elections“, fought with stones and bottles against supporters of late President Hugo Chavez and desisted from completing the walk.
There was confusion about the number of injured, but Gaby Arellano, a student leader, said at least 10 university students were treated after suffering cuts on the skull, arms and other body parts.
“It is not our intention to confront or provoke violence, but violence was present by tiny groups that were sent to sabotage a legitimate protest,” said Arellano.
The university students, organized by the Operacion Soberania movement, attempted to deliver a document calling for eliminating the controversial requirement to take the fingerprint of the voter before casting the vote, as some fear it is possible to combine the vote with the voter’s identity and those records eventually may be used later on to discriminate and punish those who voted against the ruling party.
While a radical pro-government group tried to attack the students from side streets, but were repelled by rubber bullets and tear gas fired by the national police, in an effort to separate the two groups.
Protestants also ask the CNE to limit the frequent use of the “nationwide broadcasts” commissioned by President Nicolas Maduro, which force all local television and radio stations to stop transmitting its programs and present government actions, which last for several hours, highlight merits of the ruling party and disqualify political opponents.