Supporters of Venezuela's president have stormed the opposition-led National Assembly where deputies threatened to put him on trial.
NATURAL ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stormed Sunday's (October 23) opposition-led National Assembly session in which lawmakers vowed to put Maduro on trial for violating democracy, days after authorities ruled out a recall referendum against the unpopular leftist president. The measure is unlikely to get any traction given the government and a compliant Supreme Court have systematically undermined the legislature, but it marked a further escalation of political tensions in the crisis-hit OPEC nation. The session was briefly interrupted when around 100 apparently pro-government protesters stormed in, brandishing Socialist Party signs and shouting "The Assembly will fall!" before officials herded them out. The opposition coalition, seeking to end 17 years of socialism in the South American nation, says Thursday's suspension of its drive for a plebiscite against Maduro shows Venezuela has abandoned democracy. Ruling party officials accuse the opposition of fraud in their signature drive and say the coalition is seeking a coup to gain control of Venezuela's vast crude reserves, the world's largest. The opposition coalition has called for a major peaceful protest on Wednesday, dubbed "The takeover of Venezuela".