CARACAS: Venezuelans poured into the streets for continued mass demonstrations, and protesters again clashed with government forces Thursday, a day after an opposition leader renewed calls for the military to abandon President Nicolas Maduro.
Supporters of Juan Guaido, the self-declared interim president, heeded his call for massive marches against Maduro’s government on May Day, a public holiday here.
Standing in front of chanting supporters, the 35-year-old Guaido announced that on Thursday, public employees would begin work stoppages, eventually leading to a general strike meant to heighten pressure on Maduro to step down.
“In spite of the intimidation, we have never surrendered and we have said that this is an irreversible process,” Guaido told supporters in east Caracas’ El Marques district. “I have no doubt that 80% of the country wants a change.”
Later in the day, opposition protesters clashed with security forces near La Carlota military base, with tear gas and smoke from Molotov cocktails drifting through the air. Dozens were reported injured, including at least four journalists.