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Guaido makes new appeal to Venezuela army ahead of Mayday protests

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Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido used his latest mass rally on Saturday to reiterate an appeal to the army to end its support for Nicolas Maduro's regime, and announced massive Mayday protests to oust the embattled president.

Guaido told supporters at the rally in Caracas that the support of the army was "fundamental" to oust Maduro, "but time is passing and the wait cannot be eternal."

He reminded military leaders they have "a historic opportunity resting on their shoulders."

Despite support from more than 50 states who recognize him as interim president, US-backed Guaido has been unable to affect Maduro's grip on the military, which continues to keep him in power, along with allies China and Russia.

The president of the ruling Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello (2nd L) speaks alongside  Foreign ...
The president of the ruling Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello (2nd L) speaks alongside Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza (R) during a demonstration called by the presidency to celebrate Venezuela's official exit from the Organization of American States (OAS)
Yuri CORTEZ, AFP

Guaido will aim to keep up the street pressure on the regime with a huge Mayday protest on Wednesday that he said would be "the largest in the country's history."

At his rally on Saturday, he held a swearing-in ceremony for "freedom commandos" -- volunteers he has put in charge of organizing ongoing protests against the government.

The government has also called for mass pro-Maduro demonstrations to be held as part of its annual Mayday parade.

On Saturday, several thousand Maduro supporters flocked onto the streets, responding to the ruling socialist PSUV party's call to "celebrate" Venezuela's exit from the Organization of American States.

Caracas announced in 2017 that it would leave the organization which it accuses of participating in a US-directed campaign to destabilize the government.

"The hard-core people are mobilizing to celebrate our final withdrawal from the US Colonial Office: the OAS," Maduro scoffed in a message on Twitter.

Supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro take part in a demonstration called by the preside...
Supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro take part in a demonstration called by the presidency to celebrate Venezuela's official exit from the Organization of American States (OAS), at the Bolivar square in Caracas, on April 27, 2019
YURI CORTEZ, AFP

The last Maduro envoys at the embassy left after the OAS voted on April 10 to accept Guaido's envoy to represent Venezuela at the Washington-based body until new presidential elections can be held.

Leftist firebrand Maduro has presided over a crumbling economy in which inflation is projected to soar to a mind-boggling 10 million percent this year, with millions of Venezuelans having fled in the face of a shortage of basic goods.

Washington has hit Venezuela with a raft of sanctions aimed at cutting off financial support for Maduro and his top officials. An oil embargo comes into effect on Sunday.

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido used his latest mass rally on Saturday to reiterate an appeal to the army to end its support for Nicolas Maduro’s regime, and announced massive Mayday protests to oust the embattled president.

Guaido told supporters at the rally in Caracas that the support of the army was “fundamental” to oust Maduro, “but time is passing and the wait cannot be eternal.”

He reminded military leaders they have “a historic opportunity resting on their shoulders.”

Despite support from more than 50 states who recognize him as interim president, US-backed Guaido has been unable to affect Maduro’s grip on the military, which continues to keep him in power, along with allies China and Russia.

The president of the ruling Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello (2nd L) speaks alongside  Foreign ...

The president of the ruling Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello (2nd L) speaks alongside Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza (R) during a demonstration called by the presidency to celebrate Venezuela's official exit from the Organization of American States (OAS)
Yuri CORTEZ, AFP

Guaido will aim to keep up the street pressure on the regime with a huge Mayday protest on Wednesday that he said would be “the largest in the country’s history.”

At his rally on Saturday, he held a swearing-in ceremony for “freedom commandos” — volunteers he has put in charge of organizing ongoing protests against the government.

The government has also called for mass pro-Maduro demonstrations to be held as part of its annual Mayday parade.

On Saturday, several thousand Maduro supporters flocked onto the streets, responding to the ruling socialist PSUV party’s call to “celebrate” Venezuela’s exit from the Organization of American States.

Caracas announced in 2017 that it would leave the organization which it accuses of participating in a US-directed campaign to destabilize the government.

“The hard-core people are mobilizing to celebrate our final withdrawal from the US Colonial Office: the OAS,” Maduro scoffed in a message on Twitter.

Supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro take part in a demonstration called by the preside...

Supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro take part in a demonstration called by the presidency to celebrate Venezuela's official exit from the Organization of American States (OAS), at the Bolivar square in Caracas, on April 27, 2019
YURI CORTEZ, AFP

The last Maduro envoys at the embassy left after the OAS voted on April 10 to accept Guaido’s envoy to represent Venezuela at the Washington-based body until new presidential elections can be held.

Leftist firebrand Maduro has presided over a crumbling economy in which inflation is projected to soar to a mind-boggling 10 million percent this year, with millions of Venezuelans having fled in the face of a shortage of basic goods.

Washington has hit Venezuela with a raft of sanctions aimed at cutting off financial support for Maduro and his top officials. An oil embargo comes into effect on Sunday.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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