Giant Brawl Breaks Out in Venezuelan National Assembly

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Yesterday, we wondered if the protests in Egypt could spur similar strife in Venezuela. Today, Marco Rubio seemed to have subtlety urged on the idea by releasing a statement saying, "Today's events should hearten those struggling for greater freedom and respect for human rights in our own Hemisphere."

Yet, the only political violence going on in Venezuela today appears to be between lawmakers, as a giant melee broke out during a session of the National Assembly. Here's the video:

Alfonso Marquina, an opposition lawmaker, took to the podium to denounce the presence of a loud group of pro-Hugo Chavez supporters. Henry Villanueva, a Chavez supporter, came up to confront him and a physical shoving match broke out. Marquina claims that Villanueva started it, but it's hard to tell from the video.

In elections last year, opposition lawmakers won about 50 percent of the popular vote, but thanks to some gerrymandering only took about 40 percent of the seats. Just to hedge his bets, Chavez passed a law before the new assembly was seated that gave him authority to essentially bypass that body.

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