There was a small but significant show of support for the opposition in Venezuela. Thousands from all walks of life — hit the streets — calling on President Nicolas Maduro to step down.
CGTN’s Stephen Gibbs has this report from Caracas.
Thousands of supporters of Venezuela’s rival President have staged anti-government demonstrations in cities across the country. The two-hour “walkouts” were intended to keep up the pressure up on the Maduro government.
President Maduro has said the United States is attempting to back a coup against him.
Just three weeks ago, Juan Guaidó was a political unknown. Now he is regarded by the United States, most countries in South America, and millions of Venezuelans, as President.
“It is a big dream, a beautiful dream that we are going to fulfill in this country. We will keep protesting. We will keep on the streets,” he told supporters.
President Maduro, meanwhile, spent much of the day with his army. The President was making the point that he remains commander-in-chief.
“I call on the Bolivarian National Armed Forces to guarantee that our territory will never be touched,” he said.
This is no longer a standoff between supporters and opponents of Guaidó and Maduro. It has taken on a global dimension.
President Trump called Guaidó on Wednesday – to congratulate him on “becoming president,” the White House said.
Earlier Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow will “do everything to support the government of President Maduro.”
This is a fragile situation, in a country close to economic collapse. And the opposition is not relenting. A major nationwide protest is planned for this Saturday.