March 3 - Government calls for protesters to head to the beach for carnival holiday fall on deaf ears as clashes erupt in Caracas. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Clashes broke out between anti-government demonstrators and police in Caracas on Sunday (March 2) at the tail end of a peaceful protest organised by students during the Carnival holiday weekend. Police fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets against protesters in eastern Caracas, which has seen the heat of the protests over the last two weeks. Protesters used a massive elastic sling to launch rocks toward police. The opposition is trying to keep up the momentum from weeks of protests demanding President Nicolas Maduro resign. There are no signs that Maduro, who says the protests are part of a U.S.-backed coup plot, could be ousted in a Ukraine-style overthrow despite widespread discontent with soaring inflation and chronic product shortages. Government leaders have urged Venezuelans to skip the protests and make their traditional trips to the beach during the Carnival holiday. State television was filled with images of packed beaches and smiling holidaymakers. Opposition marchers from students to middle-aged professionals and senior citizens filled a square in the east of Caracas to protest problems including 56 percent annual inflation and one of the world's highest murder rates.