May 14 - Venezuelan protesters and national guard units clash during latest round of protests in Caracas. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Venezuela's national guard clashed with dozens of masked protesters on Wednesday after opposition groups tried to block streets and march through downtown Caracas. Protesters pelted authorities with rocks and home-made explosives while national guard units fired tear gas canisters to repel the crowd. Several protesters were detained. The latest round of clashes comes one day after the head of the opposition umbrella group MUD said in a statement that talks with the government of President Nicolas Maduro was in crisis due to repression of student demonstrations and officials' refusal to grant concessions that could defuse three months of street protests. Opposition leaders have said they would miss the next round of talks with the government while on Tuesday, Maduro said he did not plan to halt dialogue and hoped the next round would go forward. The MUD is also seeking the release of demonstrators arrested during recent protests, as well as participation in the selection of new leaders of Venezuela's electoral council. In what has been the OPEC member's worst unrest in a decade, at least 42 people have died in violence around the protests and about 800 have been injured. About 150 people remain in jail from nearly 3,000 rounded up since February. While their political leaders argue, polls show that Venezuelans are far more concerned with scarcities of basic goods and violent crime than debates over human rights and democracy.