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Venezuela's opposition goes to the streets to take action against Maduro



CARACAS (Reuters) – The Venezuelans will be on the streets Wednesday as the opposition hopes to take advantage of several weeks of speed and strengthen a change in President Nicolas Maduro's government, which has watched economic collapse and erosion of democracy.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with supporters in Caracas, Venezuela on January 22, 2019. Miraflores Palace / Handout via REUTERS

A protest magazine in Caracas Monday triggered by a brief military rebellion has scattered hope that a new leader by Congress, Juan Guaido, could unite the opposition and detach Maduro, who this month began another election, criticizing that his election was illegal.

Guaido has said that he would be willing to replace Maduro as a temporary president with military support to call free elections. The opposition-led Congress, which many foreign consider as Venezuela's last remaining bastion of democracy, has declared Maduro a "usurper," and the United States has cast its support behind Guaido.

The march, which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands, could solidify the popular support behind Guaido, and some backers ask him to preach to the legitimate president. Venezuela's opposition has been largely unmanageable since Guaido's mentor, Leopoldo Lopez, was arrested in 2014 under street protests.

Guaido, 35, has urged the military to abolish Maduro and has promised a future amnesty for those helping to return to democracy.

Access to military members on Monday, Guaido said: "We are not asking you to launch a coup d'état, we do not ask you to shoot. We ask you not to shoot at us."

Guaido in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday said that if he became president, he intended to provide legal protection to soldiers and officials who were rejected even though he acknowledged "there would be justice for those who did bad things." 19659009] "The discomfort is natural. We have spent 20 years suffering attacks. They have killed political leaders, they have imprisoned others, I have been kidnapped for a few hours, they have killed my friends," he said.

"I do not intend to cure the wounds for 20 years and I do not intend to hide them. I strive to recognize those who are there."

The ruling socialist party holds a rival march on Wednesday and officials have threatened Guaido with prison. The Supreme Court, which obliges the government to cancel the congressional powers in 2017, decided on Tuesday not to recognize Guaido as the head and asked the State Attorney to decide whether he had committed a crime.

Maduro, which was inaugurated on January 10 following a 2018 election, widely regarded as a shame, has presided over Venezuela's spiral in its worst economic crisis with the inflation forecast reaching 10 million percent this year.

Maduro's administration has imprisoned dozens of opposition activists and leaders to seek to overthrow him through street demonstrations in 2014 and 2017. The 2017 protests left 125 people dead in clashes with the police.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence issued a notice of support to the Venezuelans, who opposed the government on Tuesday, and branded Maduro a "dictator without a legitimate claim to power".

In response, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said to a press conference: "Yankee goes home." She condemned "Venezuela's perverse plans for extreme right to threaten stability and peace."

Writing by Angus Berwick; Editing by Brian Ellsworth and Rosalba O & # 39; Brien

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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