Video: Opposition leader in Venezuela attacked

Venezuelan opposition leader Jesus Torrealba
Venezuelan opposition leader Jesus Torrealba AP

The head of Venezuela’s opposition coalition Friday was attacked by a handful of rock-throwing men as he participated in a protest against power cuts.

In a video provided by the group of opposition parties known as the MUD, General Secretary Jesús Torrealba is seen backing up and then fighting back as he’s swarmed by a group of men.

As the assailants throw punches and rocks, someone can be heard saying “give him lead.” The threat carries weight in Venezuela, which has one of the highest homicide rates in the world and is awash in guns.

In a statement, Torrealba said he hadn’t been injured in the attack.

“The peaceful demonstration against the blackouts was successful,” he wrote. “Neither the military nor the actions of a group of violent vandals will stop our legitimate right to peaceful protest.”

On Twitter, the bald Torrealba joked that the men hadn’t even “messed up” his hair.

Tensions are running high in Venezuela as daily, four-hour blackouts and food shortages have led to protests and looting in some cities. The opposition is also in the midst of a recall referendum that could potentially cut President Nicolás Maduro’s term short.