Major demonstrations have taken place in several cities across Venezuela against the government of President Maduro. There was also a large pro-government rally in the capital, Caracas.
The opposition has been boosted by the emergence of a new leader, Juan Guaidó, who has been recognized as President by the US and dozens of other governments. CGTN’s Stephen Gibbs reports on demonstrations in Caracas.
At his rally – attended by hundreds of thousands of supporters in Caracas – he said that humanitarian aid was on the way to the crisis-hit country, and said more details would be provided on Sunday.
The United States government last week said it was preparing $20 million of aid, which is expected to be taken to Colombian and Brazilian borders with Venezuela in the coming weeks.
That presents a direct challenge to the government of President Maduro, The aid will be given on the proviso that a Guaidó administration – the legitimate one in the eyes of the U.S. – distributes it.
Maduro, who gathered his supporters in the capital today, made it clear that, in his view, there is only one President.
“The sovereign president, president in office, the worker’s president, the people’s president, President Maduro, Chavista president, yes, however you want to put it,” he told the crowd.
Earlier, the opposition was boosted by the defection, to the Guaidó side – of a serving general in the Venezuelan Air Force. Gen. Francisco Yanez was swiftly branded a “traitor” by his senior command.
Many CGTN spoke to at the opposition march said that it was the economic situation in the country that had brought them out on the streets.
“I never have marched before. Never in my life,” said one woman “To get to this extreme we have become so desperate. My only daughter had to leave the country.”
The opposition is convinced that the country is on the brink of historic change. But so far there is no sign that President Maduro, or his senior advisors, have any intention of standing down.
More than two-million Venezuelans have left the country since its economic crisis began. Many are now gathering in other cities to show their support for Guaido. CGTN’S Al Goodman reports on demonstrations in Spain.
Paula Garcia Tufro discusses the political crisis in Venezuela
CGTN’s Frances Kuo spoke to Paula Garcia Tufro about the Venezuela crisis. Tufro is the Deputy Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center with the Atlantic Council.