Caracas(July 28, 2017): At least five people were reported dead in protests in Venezuela to mark a general strike called by the opposition to protest government plans to rewrite the South American country’s constitution.
With political and social chaos mounting, this week’s deaths bring to 106 the number of people killed in the latest round of anti-government protests, which started four months ago.
Embattled president Nicolás Maduro has called Sunday’s election to choose members for a body that will be tasked with rewriting the constitution his own populist Chavista movement drafted in 1999 under the auspices of his deceased predecessor and mentor, Hugo Chávez.
The president wants the new body to replace the current national assembly, which the opposition took control of in a crushing midterm election victory in 2015.
Since then the executive and legislature have been engaged in a bitter stand-off with the assembly’s effort to organise a recall referendum on Mr Maduro’s mandate, frustrated by the Chavista supreme court.