Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro are calling on demonstrators to flood the streets of Caracas on Saturday as part of a weeklong protest movement that shows little sign of losing steam.
Past demonstrations were sometimes planned weeks in advance to guarantee high turnout. But now the almost-daily churn of events in what’s being called the “ongoing coup” — the government’s alleged moves to accumulate more power — has energized and united the normally fractious opposition leading up to Saturday’s march.
Authorities on Friday barred former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles from seeking office for 15 years for administrative irregularities as governor of Miranda state, a move decried by his supporters and foreign governments as another step toward dictatorship. It followed last week’s decision by the Supreme Court to gut the opposition-controlled legislature of its last vestiges of power.
As is now customary, authorities shut down the city’s subway in what’s widely seen as an attempt to discourage people from joining the protests, many of which have ended in scores of arrests, tear gas and rubber bullets. In another intimidation tactic, police also posted on social media mugshots of protesters taken undercover at recent demonstrations with a request for information about the whereabouts of the unidentified “generators of violence.”
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