May Day protests lead to violent clashes in streets of Caracas

World Today

Supporters cheer on opposition leader Juan Guaidó as he speaks during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Thousands gathered to demand President Nicolas Maduro’s ouster in what could be another critical day in the nation’s struggle between a widely detested socialist government and an opposition backed by powerful allies like the United States but unable to secure the loyalty of key factions like the military. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Opposition leader Juan Guaido is calling for the largest demonstrations the nation has seen in Venezuela.

It comes a day after he urged the military to abandon Maduro.

CGTN’s Stephen Gibbs has more from Caracas.

May Day in Caracas and the opposition leadership called its supporters out on the streets again. Most were keen to see Guaido.

“What we have sacrificed will not be in vain, it has not been in vain. It has been for our families, for our future. It has been at every turn to achieve our objective which has been to unite the country,” Guaido said.

His profile has again soared after a dramatic move on Tuesday when he appeared on the streets with a group of rebel national guardsmen.

They tried, and failed, to provoke a military uprising at this airbase.

On Wednesday, the same airbase became the focus of protests again. A group appeared to be using a van as a battering ram to gain access.

There were protests in other cities, too. In the Barquisimeto in Northwestern Venezuela, there were also several arrests.

Back in Caracas, the government held its own more traditional May Day parade. It is keen to get across the message that not everyone is against it.

Earlier President Maduro had congratulated his armed forces for what he said was its victory over the plotters against him. And he ridiculed suggestions from U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that he was ready to go into exile in Cuba,.

“Mike Pompeo said this afternoon: ‘Maduro had a plane ready to take him to Cuba, but the Russians prevented him from leaving the country.’ Mister Pompeo, please, this really is a joke,” said Nicolas Maduro the President of Venezuela.

Both the president and those that want him gone, insist they are not giving up.