At least 200 people have been injured as massive crowds attempted to reach the city centre to demonstrate outside the Supreme Court of Justice.
The streets of Caracas and several other Venezuelan cities have been the scene of running clashes in recent days, with police firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon at demonstrators hurling rocks and molotov cocktails.
An 87-year-old woman was reported to have died in her apartment in the Colinas de Bello Monte neighbourhood after inhaling tear gas thrown by police during street demonstrations.
Demonstrators threw stones at security forces
Opposition protesters have taken to the streets of Caracas and at least four other cities over the past two weeks, rejecting several Supreme Court rulings which would see parliament shut down.
The court aimed to assume the functions of the opposition-led Congress, sparking outcry among Venezuelans already suffering from triple-digit inflation and widespread shortages of basic goods.
While the court quickly overturned the most controversial part of its decision, the move triggered condemnation both home and abroad.
Shocking images as violence flares in Venezuela against the President
Tue, April 11, 2017
Venezuela's political crisis intensified when the Supreme Court issued rulings curbing the powers of the opposition-controlled legislature. The court reversed the rulings, but the opposition intensified its protests from that moment
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A demonstrator protesting against President Nicolas Maduro's government throws back a tear gas grenade at riot police in Caracas
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The anger escalated when news emerged that the national comptroller had banned politician Henriques Capriles from office for 15 years.
Mr Capriles has been at the forefront of demands for a recall referendum on President Maduro and was seen as the opposition’s best hope in next year’s presidential election.
It is the country’s first sustained wave of anti-government demonstrations in three years.
Police fired tear gas to disperse violent crowds
Protesters blocked the main highway through Caracas through the night, until they were dispersed by National Guard troops.
Opposition leaders slammed the government for arbitrary use of force in breaking up demonstrations, which included tear gas being fired into a clinic.
Opposition legislator Jose Manuel Olivares said: “Not even in war are there are attacks on hospitals and health centres”.
Venezuelans are suffering triple-digit inflation and shortages of basic goods
Government officials sent images and videos via Twitter showing hooded and masked protesters destroying public property and starting small fires, and accused the opposition of orchestrating violence to destabilise the government.
The government has come under increased pressure from American and European countries, who have the condemned both the violence in Venezuela and the ban on Mr Capriles.
President Maduro – a former bus driver and union leader who accuses foreign countries of “meddling” – is currently visiting communist ally Cuba for a meeting of the ALBA bloc, which includes Venezuela's leftist allies in Latin America including Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba.