Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are expected to join a protest on Wednesday in an effort to topple the country’s President Nicolas Maduro’s government. Since the fall of Venezuelan military dictatorship in 1958, this protest march will mark its 61 years.
According to BBC news reports, national assembly president Juan Guaido, the organizer of the demonstration, called the protest a “historic appointment with the people”. Meanwhile, the United States vice president Mike Pence expressed his support to the Venezuelan people and their demonstration.
In an opinion mouthpiece for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Pence said Washington “strongly supports the national assembly and Mr. Guaido”.
Pence wrote, “Nicolás Maduro has no legitimate claim to power,” adding, “Nicolás Maduro must go.” Venezuelan vice president Delcy Rodriguez dismissed Pence’s intervention.
The opposition demonstration aimed to back an effort by Guaido in order to establish a transitional administration ahead of the new elections. The governing Socialist Party has declared a rival protest to counter the opposition demonstration.
Wednesday’s demonstration came after two days when 27 national guard soldiers allegedly revolted against the Venezuelan government in Caracas, at the guard post.
While addressing soldiers on Monday, Guaido said, “We’re not asking you to launch a coup d’état, we’re not asking you to shoot.” He further said, “We’re asking you not to shoot at us.”
Guaido called for protest after Maduro was sworn-in as the country’s second president this month