Venezuelan leader puts militias on patrol ahead of protests

Published November 13, 2019, 12:41 PM

by Gabriela Baron & Minka Klaudia Tiangco

By the Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is beefing up patrols by civilian militias across the nation as political rivals call for mass demonstrations against him.

A supporter of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose image is held up at right, and late President Hugo Chavez, left, carries the Spanish message: "Evo. People. Friend. We are with you" during a rally in support of former Bolivian President Evo Morales in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. Morales stepped down following weeks of massive protests. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix/MANILA BULLETIN)
A supporter of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose image is held up at right, and late President Hugo Chavez, left, carries the Spanish message: “Evo. People. Friend. We are with you” during a rally in support of former Bolivian President Evo Morales in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. Morales stepped down following weeks of massive protests. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix/MANILA BULLETIN)

Maduro in a national broadcast Tuesday ordered the nation’s 3.2 million militia members to patrol Venezuela’s streets. He gave the command seated between the nation’s top-ranking military leaders.

The heightened patrols overlap with a Saturday protest called by opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó, who has led a nearly year-long campaign to oust Maduro with backing from the U.S. and 50 other nations.

Guaidó has not managed to rally large demonstrations in recent months.

However, a wave of political unrest has struck several Latin American nations, and Bolivian socialist leader Evo Morales abruptly resigned Sunday.

Maduro says the same “imperialist” forces that undermined Bolivia’s president seek to oust him.

 
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