Venezuela: A Day Of Dueling Protests

Tags: Currents, World News

Currents News Staff

The political momentum of Venezuela’s opposition swelled Saturday amid massive street protests in Caracas.

That came as Venezuela’s self-declared interim President Juan Guaido urged people to show their support in peaceful protests. 

Two leaders, two crowds, battling for the future of Venezuela. 

On one side, the Venezuelan opposition rallying around its leader Juan Guaido, the young President of the National Assembly who swore himself in as acting President of Venezuela on Jan 23. 

People gathered from the early hours of the morning to wait for Guaido’s speech, many just hoping for an end to the country’s years-long downward spiral. 

Over the last few years, Venezuela’s economy has collapsed, and its people have been unable to put their hands on the basics such as food and medicine.

“I hope we end this, right now. I hope we have a free country, a free country, I hope we start living our lives, past this nightmare, past this infernal situation we’re in right now,” said Isabel Marval, an opposition protester.

There is a new momentum behind the Venezuelan opposition, after Nicolas Maduro began a second presidential term that many consider illegitimate, here and abroad.

A lot of geopolitics at stake here in Venezuela, where we have seen the negotiations going on. We have heard that both Russia and China are on Maduro’s side, with the rest of the international community on the opposition’s side. But today here in Caracas is the turn of the street.

When Juan Guaido finally arrived at the rally, an avenue full of enthusiastic supporters welcomed him. 

On stage, the young leader outlined his plan to put an end to the humanitarian crisis that is bringing Venezuela to its knees

“We are also announcing to the people of Venezuela that we already have 3 collection points for humanitarian aid. the first point Cucuta, Colombia and we will announce precisely where there will be in the upcoming days,” said Guaido.

On the other side of the city, another rallying cry from the old leader.

“I am the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and I owe myself to everyone, not just some of them, i owe myself to all of Venezuela,” said  Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Nicolas Maduro, standing firm, calls for fresh Parliamentary elections that mean dismantling the National Assembly lead by Guaido.

“I am in agreement with rectifying the legislative power of the nation and going forward with free elections in the nation, with guarantees, and for the people to decide on a new National Assembly,” said Maduro.

A proposal cheered by Maduro’s supporters, wary of the international interest towards Venezuela.

Two crowds, two leaders, and simply not able to speak to each other.