Guaido support dwindling

13 May 2019 | International

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido says he's instructed his political envoy in Washington to immediately open relations with the US military.

Guaido said Saturday that he's asked his ambassador Carlos Vecchio to open “direct communications” toward possible coordination.

US-backed Guaido is leading a campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

In recent days Venezuelan security forces arrested National Assembly Vice-president Edgar Zambrano, the body's number two leader. Other lawmakers also scrambled for refuge in foreign embassies amid renewed fears of a crackdown following an unsuccessful military rebellion.

Guaido says he's keeping “all options on the table” to remove Maduro, repeating language used by US President Donald Trump and his chief advisors.

Earlier this week, US Navy Admiral Craig Faller said he would meet with Guaido when invited to discuss the future role of Venezuela's armed forces.

A modest crowd of Venezuelans took to the streets Saturday to show support for the opposition-led congress which is coming under increasing pressure from the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido addressed several hundred people who had gathered in the capital in support of his bid to oust the socialist president.

But the noticeably diminished crowds reflected a growing fear and demoralisation that has permeated Guaido's ranks of supporters after he led a failed military uprising on April 30. In previous months, thousands of demonstrators heeded his calls to protest.

“We live in dictatorship,” Guaido said. “We don't have the option to stay at home waiting, but to keep demanding our rights in the streets.”

NAMPA/AP

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