Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido on Friday called for a demonstration to reignite the protest movement he hopes will force Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from office.
Guaido called on “women, students [and] unions” to join him in a demonstration outside the legislature on March 10 “to find a solution to the crisis” and demand “a truly free election.”
Venezuela has been beset by five years of recession. Poverty has soared and millions have fled the country, while hyperinflation has left many people’s salaries and savings worthless.
A year ago, the South American country lurched into crisis when Guaido declared himself acting president after the legislature branded Maduro an “usurper” — his re-election in 2018 came in polls widely dismissed as rigged.
Guaido wants Maduro to stand down in favor of a transitional government that would hold free and fair elections.
Although Guaido quickly secured the backing of more than 50 countries and initially led street protests drawing tens of thousands of people, his popularity has waned.
However, he has returned from a high-profile international tour — meeting US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron — to drum up support for his renewed push.
Meanwhile, Maduro has tried to shove Guaido off of the political stage by backing a rival claimant to lead the legislature.
Luis Parra, a former Guaido ally, on Jan. 5 declared himself National Assembly president as armed forces loyal to Maduro prevented Guaido from entering the legislature building for what was supposed to be a vote to ratify him as leader.
Several times since then, the armed forces have blocked Guaido and allied legislators from entering the legislature.
“We know what the dictatorship’s attitude is: they’re going to try to blockade, they’re going to try to intimidate, they’re going to try to persecute,” Guaido told about 400 supporters in a meeting in Caracas.
“If they want to send me or any family member to prison, here I am,” he added.
His uncle Juan Marquez was last week detained at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas.
The government claims that Marquez, who was on a flight with Guaido returning from Portugal, was carrying explosives — an allegation his defense team has called a “vile setup.”
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,
The dramatic quietening of towns and cities during lockdown in Britain has changed the way the Earth moves beneath our feet, scientists said. Seismologists at the British Geological Survey (BGS) have found that their sensors are twitching less now that human activity has been curtailed, leading to a drop in the anthropogenic din that vibrates through the planet. The fall in the human hum that rings around the world means that, in theory at least, the scientists should be able to detect smaller earthquakes in the UK, and more distant tremors in Europe and in countries further afield than their equipment usually