Tensions are still high in Venezuela after violent protests turned deadly this week. A Venezuelan human rights group claims four people died in street clashes this week after the opposition leader Juan Guaido called for a military uprising.
Thursday was relatively calm in the Venezuelan capital city Caracas as government forces were out in full force trying to stabilize the country after a violent 48 hours.
Residents are back on the streets trying to resume life under very difficult circumstances.
Caracas resident Ana Morales said, “I see a bad future ahead if we continue in the situation that we are living, if things do not change, I do not believe they will. Because how are we going to live like this with this situation? Our salaries are not enough. We have problems, we do not even have appliances. If something breaks there is no way to get something new, everything is too expensive.”
Several days ago, the head of Venezuela’s secret police did write a letter saying he was no longer supporting dictator Nicolas Maduro, but it doesn’t appear to have shaken the dictator’s support from other officials.
Wednesday, police forces loyal to the socialist dictator fired buckshot at protesters who had heeded Guaido’s call to take to the streets. A 27-year-old woman was reportedly shot in the head and at least 46 people injured when pro- and anti-government supporters clashed in a suburb of Caracas.
Guaido urged members of the military on Tuesday to revolt against Maduro hoping high-ranking military officers would defect and shake the leader’s grip on power. It didn’t happen.
In a show of defiance, Maduro, flanked by members of the national Bolivarian armed forces, paraded along an army base in Caracas early this morning. He praised them for their loyalty and vowed to punish those who tried to overthrow his government.
Maduro, who has the backing of Russia and China, has refused to step down following months of demonstrations and pressure from the United States and more than 60 countries.
Meanwhile, Cuba, which reportedly has 20,000 troops and agents in Venezuela propping up Maduro’s government, held a rally in Havana in support of the dictator.
All this coming as Washington decides what to do next. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said US military action is possible in Venezuela to help opposition leader Juan Guaido unseat Maduro.
Guaido is urging his supporters to remain in the streets. He’s calling for public employees to go on strike tomorrow.