Venezuela's opposition supporters marched through Caracas, chanting "freedom", demanding that election officials start counting signatures for a vote to recall unpopular President Nicolas Maduro. Those demonstrating have claimed the recall referendum has reached 1.85 million signatures, far more than the required 1% (almost 200,000) needed to trigger the next phase.

Venezuela protests
A woman against Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro's presidency takes part in a demonstration next to members of the National Guard in CaracasFederico Parra/AFP

The Democratic Unity coalition has continued to push for the ousting of President Maduro, as the country's economic crisis worsens. Food and medicine shortages, triple-digit inflation, power cuts, crime rates and lack of water have stoked anger against the president.

"Once again, the National Guard is blocking the [people's] will, [blocking] the people who have decided on change this year. The message I am giving, not only to Venezuela, but to the whole world, is that Venezuela doesn't have enough weapons to defeat us," the deputy of the opposition, Juan Requesens told Reuters.

Venezuela protests
A National Guard member has his vest splattered with blood during clashes with demonstrators in CaracasJuan Barreto/AFP
Venezuela protests
An opposition supporter falls as she clashes with Venezuelan National Guards during a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasCarlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

In what was supposed to be a peaceful protest, demonstrators were fired upon with tear gas by police as they waved flags and blew whistles during their march towards an electoral building, which they never managed to reach due to police cordoning it off. Opposition congress president Henry Ramos condemned the use of tear gas, saying that it was unacceptable that anyone be hurt during the protests.

Venezuela protests
Members of the Venezuelan National Guard form a line during an opposition demonstration in CaracasJuan Baretto/AFP
Venezuela protests
Opponents to the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro demonstrate in front of a line of riot police in CaracasFederico Parra/AFP
Venezuela protests
Men demonstrating against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro clash with riot police during a protest in CaracasFederico Parra/AFP

If the signatures are counted, a new election would be held this year. According to Reuters, a recent poll showed almost 70 percent of Venezuelans wanted Maduro out, yet the electoral authority has said that it will have to wait weeks before starting to count the signatures.

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Venezuelan opposition activists ignite flames in their clash with the police during a demonstration in San CristobalGeorge Castellanos/AFP
Venezuela protests
An injured man lies on the street next to National Guard members during a demonstration in CaracasJuan Barreto/AFP
Venezuela protests
A member of the National Guard gestures during clashes with members of the opposition during a demonstration in CaracaFederico Parra/AFP
Venezuela protests
An injured man lies on the street next to National Guard members during a demonstration in CaracasFederico Parra/AFP
Venezuela protests
Opposition supporters clash with riot policemen during a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, VenezuelaCarlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
Venezuela protests
Opposition supporters carry an injured man during clashes with riot policemen in a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasMarco Bello/Reuters
Venezuela protests
An opposition supporter puts stickers depicting the country's constitution on a Venezuelan National Guard truck during a rally against President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasMarco Bello/Reuters
Venezuela protests
A riot policeman fires into the air during clashes with opposition supporters at a rally demanding a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasCarlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
Venezuela protests
An opposition supporter stands in front of Venezuelan National Guards in a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasMarco Bello/Reuters
Venezuela protests
Venezuelan opposition leader and Miranda State governor Henrique Capriles raises his arms during a demonstration in front of members of the National Police in CaracasJuan Barreto/AFP
Venezuela protests
Opposition supporters shout slogans to Venezuelan National Guards through a fence, during a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasCarlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
Venezuela protests
An opposition supporter is  comforted in front of Venezuelan National Guards in a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasMarco Bello/Reuters
Venezuela protests
An opposition supporters holding a sign that reads: "I recall" shouts during a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasCarlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
Venezuela protests
An opposition supporter kneels in front of riot policemen during a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasCarlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
Venezuela protests
An opposition supporter covers his face from tear gas during clashes with riot policemen in a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in CaracasMarco Bello/Reuters
Venezuela protests
A Venezuelan opposition activist holds up the national flag to bank of riot police during a demonstration in San CristobalGeorge Castellanos/AFP
Venezuela protests
Venezuelan opposition activists clash with the police during a demonstration in San CristobalGeorge Castellanos/AFP
Venezuela protests
Opponents to the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro demonstrate in front of a line of riot police in CaracasFederico Parra/AFP
Venezuela protests
Venezuelan opposition leader and Miranda State governor Henrique Capriles reacts to tear gas during a demonstration in CaracasFederico Parra/ AFP