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01.05.2019 Europe

Guaido calls for massive May Day demos in Venezuala, as power struggle continues

RFI
World Matias Delacroix/AFP
MAY 1, 2019 EUROPE

Juan Guaido, Venezuela's opposition leader who is in a power struggle with President Nicolas Maduro, has called for a new round of mass street protests on Wednesday, a day after he failed to secure the backing of the military to oust Maduro once and for all.

Guaido appeared Tuesday with a small cadre of soldiers outside a Caracas air force base, to try to split the military and resolve the power struggle in Venezuela. But security forces moved in to crush protesters, and the military takeover did not happen.

Speaking on state television, Maduro said that the unrest had been quelled and that Venezuela would not fall to forces intent on "submitting our country to a neocolonial economic domination model and enslaving Venezuela."

But Guaido is not backing down: "We have seen that protest yields results. We should keep up the pressure,” he said, promising what he said would be the “largest march” in the country's history.

The opposition is hoping that Venezuelans, angered by broadcast images of armoured vehicles running into protesters, and fed up with the humanitarian crisis in the country, will fill streets.

And by staging the protest on 1 May, international worker's day, he is appealing to union leaders and public workers, a traditional base of support for Maduro, and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

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