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Venezuelan Opposition Leader Steps Up Pressure, but Maduro Holds On

By day’s end, news spread of another blow to the opposition: Leopoldo López, the political prisoner who heads Mr. Guaidó’s party, had fled into the Chilean Embassy, along with his wife, Lilian Tintori. Only hours earlier, Mr. López had appeared freed from house arrest imposed by Mr. Maduro’s government.

Venezuelans in Caracas said they were bracing for a revived but protracted struggle between Mr. Maduro and Mr. Guaidó, with an unclear outcome.

“I believe this is very important, but I see apathy and fear in people,” said one of the protesters, Mary Galaviz, 69. “We should not be afraid. In war there is death, but goals are achieved.”

Miriam Segovia, 52, another protester near the military base, said she hoped that the armed forces would “put themselves on the side of the Constitution, so we can escape this misery, this hunger and lack of medication.”

The response was far more mixed — and chaotic.

In a video broadcast online, an armored vehicle could be seen accelerating directly into a group of protesters, leaving at least one person lying on the road behind it. In a separate series of photos, an armored vehicle appeared to run over a protester.

Tear gas canisters could be seen detonating near the military base, where about 2,000 people had gathered by around noon. About 200 people converged near the president’s Miraflores Palace, in Caracas, in support of Mr. Maduro’s government. Some were armed.

At least 69 people were wounded, according to Salud Chacao, one of the hospitals attending them.

The scenes drew condemnations from governments around the region. Eleven countries, including Venezuela’s neighbors Colombia and Brazil, issued a statement denouncing what they called “the indiscriminate use of violence to repress the transition process.”

News credit : Nytimes