Venezuela's Opposition Calls for Escalating Protest Agenda

Caracas witnessed a big, peaceful march today, and the opposition set a deepening protest agenda for the days to come.

Turnout was strong in Caracas for today’s hastily arranged protest march, though not on the scale of September 1st. Opposition leaders ranging from Henry Ramos to Lilian Tintori and María Corina Machado announced a tough, escalating series of street mobilizations aimed at breaking the institutional impasse set off by the suspension of the recall process.

Tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 27th): The National Assembly will debate Maduro’s “political responsibility” for the crisis. If he is found responsible — a foregone conclusion — the Assembly will vote to declare he has abandoned his post. Henry Ramos and María Corina Machado called on opposition supporters to gather outside the Capitol building tomorrow to safeguard the session from any attempt at repression such as was seen last Sunday. This will be the first opposition rally in Central Caracas in a very long time.

Friday, Oct. 28th: The opposition called for a day-long National Strike (being careful to call it a “huelga” and not a “paro”, to avoid 2002 connotations.

Thursday, November 3rd: Unless the recall process is relaunched, the opposition will march to Miraflores, the Presidential Palace, to notify the president of the Assembly’s decision.

Chúo Torrealba was virtually booed away from the microphone, after his vatiblunder the other day. Details on that to come.

Today’s protests were large and peaceful in Caracas, but not so in other cities. Violence was reported in Apure, Guarico, Sucre and, in particular, Mérida states, with various incidents of intimidation and violence against opposition supporters.

That doesn’t look good.

The next few days will be extremely volatile. Stay tuned.