The Americas

Venezuelans clash with police in march to demand recall

  • A protester with a Venezuelan flag is pushed away by National Guard soldiers trying to keep demonstrators from reaching the National Electoral Council (CNE) in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. The opposition is marching against the country's administration, demanding that election officials start counting signatures that could lead to a presidential recall vote. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    A protester with a Venezuelan flag is pushed away by National Guard soldiers trying to keep demonstrators from reaching the National Electoral Council (CNE) in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. The opposition is marching against the country's administration, demanding that election officials start counting signatures that could lead to a presidential recall vote. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, center, reacts to the effects of pepper gas as he is led away by his bodyguards after soldiers fired the gas to repel marchers protesting against the government, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Thousands of Venezuelans are marching against the country's socialist administration, demanding that elections officials start counting signatures that could lead to a presidential recall vote. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, center, reacts to the effects of pepper gas as he is led away by his bodyguards after soldiers fired the gas to repel marchers protesting against the government, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Thousands of Venezuelans are marching against the country's socialist administration, demanding that elections officials start counting signatures that could lead to a presidential recall vote. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bolivarian National Police advance as they fire tear gas at anti-government protesters to keep them from reaching the National Electoral Council (CNE) in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 11, 2016.  The opposition is marching to demand election officials start counting signatures that could lead to a presidential recall vote. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    Bolivarian National Police advance as they fire tear gas at anti-government protesters to keep them from reaching the National Electoral Council (CNE) in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. The opposition is marching to demand election officials start counting signatures that could lead to a presidential recall vote. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

Venezuelan protesters clashed Wednesday with police who fired tear gas on marchers demanding that election officials start counting signatures for a vote to recall President Nicolas Maduro.

High-profile opposition leader Henrique Capriles was among those affected by tear gas released during the scuffle.

Opposition leaders hoped to march to an electoral building in Caracas, but police cordoned it off. The officers threw tear gas containers at protesters to keep them away when some tried to proceed on the blocked route.

Opposition congress president Henry Ramos condemned the use of tear gas and said it was unacceptable that anyone be hurt during what was supposed to be a peaceful protest.

Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate, later said he was fine.

President Nicolas Maduro accused the opposition of trying to make a show of violence.

The electoral authority has said it will wait weeks before starting to count the signatures in favor of a referendum. The opposition wants them counted immediately.

The opposition roiled the country with bloody nationwide protests in 2014. But protests have tended to be small and peaceful since then.