Government supporters have stormed Venezuela’s National Assembly and have assaulted several lawmakers and journalists.
The mob was carrying sticks and wearing red, which is the colour of the ruling party, DW reports.
“I will never be complicit in any act of violence. I condemn them, and I order that they be investigated and that justice be done,” President Nicolas Maduro said.
But, the opposition is blaming the government. Since the national elections of December 2015, the National Assembly in Caracas is controlled by the opposition. Opposition media now claim that eight deputies have been injured.
Before the mob stormed the parliament, Venezuela’s Vice-President Tareck El Aissami delivered a speech calling for constitutional reform and urging the government’s supporters to gather outside the parliament and declare their support, BBC reports. The crowds gathered outside the parliament before finally storming the building.
Venezuela is suffering an extreme economic, social, and political crisis, initially triggered by the collapse of international energy prices. The sharp decline in state revenue has, in turn, caused severe shortages in medicine and food, while the government argues the crisis is largely the result of an economic war against Venezuela.
Over the last year, at least 90 people have died in clashes between the government and the opposition.
The opposition now has control over the National Assembly, which the Supreme Court tried to shut down in March, but was forced to revisit its verdict. President Maduro is accused of sliding towards authoritarianism. In turn, the government claims the opposition is trying to overthrow a democratically elected government.
The latest constitutional crisis is the prosecution of Venezuela’s attorney general, Luisa Ortega Díaz, who is challenging President Maduro’s reform plans and speaks of “state terrorism.” Venezuela’s Supreme is, in turn, accusing the attorney general of overstepping her mandate.