Tales of turmoil from Venezuelan protesters

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 4, 2019 - Duration: 02:07s

Tales of turmoil from Venezuelan protesters

Venezuelan opposition supporters injured in recent clashes with troops loyal to President Nicolas Maduro share their stories of how protests turned ugly.

Jillian Kitchener reports.


Tales of turmoil from Venezuelan protesters

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT For Luis Alejandro --it was too late to run…as a National Guard vehicle slammed into protesters in Caracas earlier this week.

The dramatic moment -- captured by a Reuters photographer on Tuesday -- marked a boiling point for the political crisis in Venezuela.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PROTESTER WHO WAS HIT BY ARMOURED VEHICLE, LUIS ALEJANDRO, SAYING: "At the time it (vehicle) passed over me I remember the darkness.

I didn't see anything, it was all dark.

The only thing I thought of was that I was alive..." Now — with abrasions, first-degree burns, seven stitches on his head and an injured ankle, doctors say Alejandro is expected to make a full recovery.

The violent protests flared after opposition leader Juan Guaido made his strongest call yet to the military to help him oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido’s ultimate goal was not reached — despite tens of thousands of his supporters pouring into the streets of Caracas, where the clashes broke out.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) INJURED PROTESTER, TORNAN JULIO, SAYING: "It was really strong, horrible, how they (authorities) were treating people.” Clashes continued on May Day — with Guaido calling for the largest march in Venezuela’s history, for the -quote- ‘final phase’ of his move to oust the socialist leader.

National Guard troops loyal to Maduro fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PHOTOGRAPHER YOHAYKER QUEVEDO WHO WAS INJURED DURING THE PROTESTS, SAYING: "... I lost sensation in my body.

They (bullets) were at my back and arm.

I was on the ground and when I was on the ground they (officers) started to shoot.

It's not like I was shot from far or that I was running.

I was on the floor and they shot at me." Despite their wounds, many protesters say they will continue pressuring Maduro to step down.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PROTESTER WHO WAS HIT BY ARMOURED VEHICLE, LUIS ALEJANDRO, SAYING: "Without fear, and with the same conviction, with the same strength that if we all go out together Maduro will not be able to stand the pressure and resign.

We need to continue, and that is why in part I'm not sad about being hit." Human rights groups claim hundreds of Venezuelans, like Alejandro, have been injured this year in clashes between opposition supporters and those loyal to Maduro.

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