Venezuelans stage sit-in to speak out against the government

World Today

Venezuelans stage sit-in to speak out against the government

Venezuelans refuse to ease up on the near daily protests aimed at the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

The country is in the midst of the steep recession. Many accuse Maduro of ruling in an increasingly authoritarian manner, ignoring the opposition-controlled parliament and blocking a recall referendum against him. The protests have led to nearly 40 deaths in the last six weeks. Now after weeks chanting and marching, demonstrators have adopted a new approach to express their discontent.

CGTN’s Stephen Gibbs reports.

Venezuelans stage sit-in to speak out against the government

Venezuelans refuse to ease up on the near daily protests aimed at the government of President Nicolas Maduro. The country is in the midst of the steep recession. Many accuse Maduro of ruling in an increasingly authoritarian manner, ignoring the opposition-controlled parliament and blocking a recall referendum against him. The protests have led to nearly 40 deaths in the last six weeks. Now after weeks chanting and marching, demonstrators have adopted a new approach to express their discontent. CGTN's Stephen Gibbs reports.

Sometimes it looked more like a lie-in, on this normally busy six-lane highway in the capital. Shortly after dawn, the road was blocked to all traffic for a mass “sit-in”. The opposition is using the tactic to send a message: it may be locked out of political power in Venezuela, but it can claim it controls the streets.

After weeks of often intense marches and protests, the opposition believes it’s time to vary how it shows discontent with the government. That, it hopes, will keep the momentum amongst its supporters, while reminding the government, and the world, that this is not a country that is functioning normally. The government, meanwhile, claims the rallies are unrepresentative – it says it is just the middle class that is protesting.

After more than a month of protests, no one quite knows how this will end. The government has a clear advantage. It, after all, controls the army, the courts, and the economy.” But the opposition argues that despite that, it does hold one vital trump card – that most Venezuelans do, in fact, want change.