In a brawl broadcast live on television and radio, Venezuelan legislators exchanged blows as members of President Hugo Chavez’s United Socialist Party tried to remove an opposition member from the parliament’s speaker’s podium.

Video of the melee was seen and heard across the country through a direct link-up system often used by Chavez to broadcast his speeches. The transmission was cut after the violence began. –JCL

Al-Jazeera English:

Venezuelan legislators from the socialist party of President Hugo Chavez and their rivals have exchanged punches in parliament.

The fist-fight on Thursday began after Socialist party legislator Henry Ventura tried to remove an opposition member, Alfonso Marquina, from the speaker’s podium.

The pair were soon joined by several other legislators and parliamentary employees who shoved and punched one another for several minutes.

“We came to work in peace, like we always do, and we hope that we are not subject to aggression for the words we say, like we were just now,” Nicolas Maduro, the foreign minister, said.

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