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13 Jan 2020 | 05:09 AM UTC

Venezuela: Opposition leader calls for additional nationwide protests January 14 /update 5

Nationwide protests expected on January 14; heightened security and transportation disruptions expected

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Event

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó has called for more nationwide protests on Tuesday, January 14. Guaidó has specifically called for a march in Caracas towards the Palacio Federal Legislativo. This and other protests in Caracas are likely to be the largest although other demonstrations should be expected in major urban areas across the country. The call for protest comes amid an effort to edge out the opposition leader and block him from entering the Palacio Federal Legislativo.

Associated transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence are to be expected near all protest sites. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out. Counter-protests are possible.

Context

The ruling Socialist Party swore in its own candidate, Luis Parra, as the new head of the National Assembly on January 5, as security forces erected a cordon around the building in Caracas, blocking opposition lawmakers from entering and re-electing, as previously expected, Guaidó. Guaidó was re-elected in a separate parliamentary session on January 5; prompting concerns over the formation of two separate parliaments competing for legitimacy.

Venezuela is in the midst of a political crisis spurred by President Nicolás Maduro's inauguration to a second term as president on January 10, 2019, following 2018's contested election, prompting the National Assembly to declare a national emergency. At least 50 foreign governments, including the US, Canada, and Brazil, among others, have since recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the interim head of state.

Advice

Individuals in Venezuela, and in Caracas in particular, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.