Protesters clashed with National Guard soldiers throughout the day in the city of Lecheria, Anzoategui state, as the widespread discontent with the Maduro regime continues to spill onto the country’s streets.

Protesters hastily built barricades on the El Peñon del Faro avenue of the city early this morning, to which the authorities responded with tear gas and rubber pellets.

The video below shows wounded protesters being carried back from the front lines on the avenue at approximately 5:35 PM:

In the video below, National Guard soldiers break into an apartment complex as tear gas chokes the air:

The video below shows National Guard soldiers breaking into the Las Salinas residential complex to the panicked screams of residents:

In the video below, a group of young protesters clash with National Guard soldiers:

The video below shows a group of protesters–some with their hands up in the air and others carrying flags–marching towards a National Guard line. Some of the protesters are yelling “murderers!”:

Shadow Deputy AG Harrington Sneaks Into Public Ministry Building, Is Kicked Out

Shadow deputy attorney general Katherine Harrington snuck into the Public Ministry today inside the trunk of a car following a highly-publicized failed attempt to enter the same building yesterday.

Harrington–whose appointment to the position by the Supreme Court earlier this week has been ignored by attorney general Luisa Ortega Diaz–was denied access to the Public Ministry once again today. She returned later in the day, this time hidden inside the trunk of a car, and managed to evade gate security.

Harrington was able to roam two floors of the Public Ministry building and “look over documents related to corruption” before being forcibly removed from the premises by security.

The operation to sneak into the Public Ministry building was facilitated by a prosecutor named Narda Dianette Sanabria Bernatte, whose vehicle served as the Trojan horse. Sanabria is also the prosecutor who first lay formal charges against jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez in February 2014.

The Public Ministry has launched a formal investigation into the security breach.

2017 Inflation Rate Reaches 176% in June

The National Assembly announced today that the 2017 inflation rate from January to June sits at 176%. In June alone, the inflation rate rose by 21.4%.

National Assembly deputy and economist Angel Alvarado spoke to reporters today about the inflation numbers, saying:

This accelerated increase n the monthly rate is due to the devaluation of the official exchange rate and the black market, as well as the monetary financing by the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) to the Executive in relation to the campaign for the National Constituent Assembly, which hasn’t yet been installed but is already costing Venezuelans in hunger.

On the possibility that, as Maduro claims, the Constituent Assembly might somehow lead to a recovery in the country’s collapsed economy, Alvarado said:

The National Constituent Assembly will not improve the country’s economic condition. On the contrary, it will make it worse. There will be no economic change in Venezuela unless there is a political change. If we don’t move away from this model that has taken us to misery, there can be neither progress nor opportunities for Venezuelans.

CNE Rector: “No One Can Force You to Vote”

Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) rector Luis Emilio Rondon spoke today on Maduro’s thinly-veiled threat to public sector workers to vote in the upcoming July 30 Constituent Assembly, stressing that no one can be forced to vote against their well

Rector Rondon, one of the country’s top electoral authorities, weighed in on the conversation through Twitter, saying:

Public officials must respect the vote, [which is] a Venezuelan’s right granted by the Constitution. No one must be forced to [vote].

During a televised speech last night, Maduro told the country’s 2.8 million public sector workers that every last one of them had to vote in the July 30 election, and that he would check voter registries “company by company” to make sure that no one abstained.

Venezuelan Church Warns of Dictatorship

The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference issued a statement today through Monseigneur Diego Padron warning that if Maduro’s Constituent Assembly were successfully installed, Venezuela would become a dictatorship.

Monseigneur Padron said:

The Constituent [Assembly] will mean the constitutionalization of a socialist military dictatorship.

The Church’s take on the Constituent Assembly is the latest in a chorus of calls condemning the process as nothing more than a naked attempt to cement Maduro’s dictatorial rule over Venezuela.

Monseigneur Padron also said that the upcoming plebiscite over the future of the country, scheduled for July 16, cannot use churches as voting centres because as the date falls on a Sunday, the installations will be in use for mass. However, he also said that some parish facilities could be used as voting centres.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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