Protesters march in the streets of Caracas after the Venezuelan government banned a key opposition politician from office. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NATURAL (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Venezuelan protesters marched through Caracas on Saturday (April 8), as the government's ban of Venezuela's top opposition leader from office breathed life into the disparate opposition and fueled the first sustained anti-government demonstrations since 2014. Thousands of people, some carrying signs reading "No to dictatorship!" and "Capriles for President," marched against the unpopular leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro. The protest followed a week of unrest sparked by last week's Supreme Court decision in which it assumed the role of the opposition-led congress. The action was quickly overturned, but the global outcry it sparked galvanized the opposition. As during recent demonstrations, authorities on Saturday closed a dozen subway stations across Caracas and set up check points on highways leading to the capital. Two-time presidential candidate and current Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles, who was seen by many as the opposition's best chance in the presidential election scheduled for 2018, was banned Friday from holding political office for 15 years. The order cited "administrative irregularities," including breaking contracting laws and improper management of donations, according to a copy of the ban. Venezuela has been pummeled by a brutal economic crisis that has millions skipping meals, unable to afford the soaring prices for basic goods and facing long lines for scarce products.