International: Tear gas, flames and 35 dead as Venezuela crisis flares

Thousands of protesters were met with plumes of tear gas in Venezuela's capital Wednesday, just a short distance from where President Nicolas Maduro delivered a decree kicking off a process to rewrite the polarized nation's constitution.

The death toll now stands at 35 since the unrests began.

Surrounded by top-ranking socialist officials, a riled-up Maduro told supporters dressed in red outside the National Electoral Council that the constitutional assembly was needed to instil peace against a violent opposition.