Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Venezuelan opposition banking on protests, military backing

Venezuelan opposition banking on protests, military backing

In addition to banning and jailing popular political rivals from the lead-up to Venezuela's presidential election last May, Mr Maduro promised food and cash bonuses to citizens who voted for him. The CBC's Adrienne Arsenault and Evan Dyer on the latest from Caracas.

Venezuela is in the grip of recession and hyperinflation while millions of people are suffering from a shortage of basic necessities.

"I don't think there's a precedent for this", says Arsenault.

The US is sparking a war to seize Venezuela, he said, highlighting that "Venezuela is a country that has the capacity to satisfy all the necessities of our people" and that "our people do not to beg from anyone".

He says nearly 100,000 Venezuelans have signed up as volunteers to help bring in aid and distribute it to those most in need.

The U.S. humanitarian aid is being stored in a warehouse across a river from the socialist rally, a situation that also puts Maduro in a tight situation, said Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society, a Washington-based think tank.

Venezuela's self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido gives the thumb up as he gets into a auto after a meeting with university students at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela, February 8, 2019.

"Why do we protect the assets of Venezuela?"

Asked whether the Venezuelan military would allow the aid into the country, Lester Toledo, coordinator for global humanitarian aid and an opposition state legislator, replied: "The soldiers know this is food that will go to the children".

For his supporters, Guaido appeared to be something of a rockstar, as they desperately tried to take selfies and cheered emphatically every time he spoke or his name was mentioned. What do we want?

"What do we lack today after 20 years of work, sacrifice, to build a majority?"

Speaking to AFP last week, Guaido refused to rule out asking for foreign intervention.

On Sunday, the Venezuelan military announced it had started conducting exercises, set to run until February 15 across the country, to "reinforce the country's defensive capacity".

Venezuela's financial accountability authority announced a probe into Guaido's income, saying he had "allegedly. received money from global and national bodies without any justification".

"They have given the order from the White House that Maduro be killed", he alleged.

Guaido warned that the military would be held responsible for the deaths of protesters.

He also called on all Venezuelans to help hand out the supplies.

He said he will reject the "minuscule crumbs that they intend to bring with toxic food, with leftovers that they have".

On Monday, Guaido posted a video on Twitter showing himself and his wife making phone calls urging people to join a volunteer force by registering on a website and calling on them to return to the streets in protest Tuesday.

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