Venezuelans are preparing for another day of protests tomorrow, the third such day since the start of this year. The purpose of tomorrow’s protest, according to opposition leaders, will be to send a message to the armed forces that they should allow humanitarian aid into the country.
Speaking at an event today in Caracas’ Universidad Metropolitana, interim president Juan Guaido said:
We’re taking to the streets in a great mobilization. Our worst enemies today are hopelessness. We are not allowed to get tired.
During the event, Guaido revealed that aside from the humanitarian aid that is currently being warehoused in the city of Cucuta, Colombia, the state of Roraima in Brazil would also store aid destined for Venezuela.
Below, a tweet from the National Assembly showing the departure points for tomorrow’s mobilization in Caracas, as well as its destination: the Francisco de Miranda avenue.
During the same event, Guaido downplayed fears that the country might be headed toward a civil war because the overwhelming majority of the country wants political change. He said:
There won’t be a civil war here, because 90% of the people want change.
Opposition Launches Volunteer Network Registration
The opposition has launched a website called voluntariosxvenezuela (note: in Venezuela, the letter “x” can be read as “por”, the word for “for”, making the name of the website “volunteers for Venezuela”), which hopes to capitalize on the goodwill of Venezuelan residents who want to help in the opposition’s humanitarian effort.
The website has a volunteer sign-up section that, aside from asking users for their name, cellphone number and national identification number, asks if they have medical experience and whether they have a vehicle. Because the website requires a national identification number to complete the registration, only Venezuelan citizens with one can do so.
Once registered, the volunteers can be placed into four different categories: digital volunteers, logistical volunteers, healthcare volunteers, and volunteers living outside of Venezuela.
Near the bottom of the website, a set of three principles appears. The first states that the aid handled by the volunteers will reach “vulnerable populations” in Venezuela; the second, that the aid will reach everyone “without political preference”; while the third principle is a commitment to steer clear of corruption.
In a video shared on his Twitter account today, Guaido and his wife called some of the people who had signed up on the website so far in order to personally thank them for doing so. While some of the people sounded skeptical that the man they were speaking to was actually Guaido, the last person appeared to believe it was really him.
Below, the video:
The website can be found here.
Opposition Delivers Thousands of Infant, Pregnancy Supplements to Church Orgs
Guaido also announced that the opposition had handed over approximately 80,000 infant nutritional supplements and 4,500 pregnancy supplements to Church organizations to be delivered directly to individuals in need.
Guaido said that the aid had been brought to Caracas as a result of “important efforts”, and stressed that the opposition has at no point tried to use the issue of the humanitarian aid as a political tool to further its own ends.
Maduro Launches Tourism Initiative
Maduro participated in a televised event today launching a new government initiative called “Marca Pais Venezuela Abierta Al Futuro” (roughly, “Venezuela’s Brand is Open to the Future”), which it hopes will boost tourism to the country and offer a vision of the country different from that which has dominated national and international media over the last several years.
Maduro said that the initiative has as its base “the spiritual force, cultural diversity and beauty of our people”, and that he was certain that the measure would be successful. Maduro said:
[We’ve created all of the legal, logistical, physical, educational, and cultural conditions so that Venezuela, with the Marca Pais strategy, can take a great leap into the development of international tourism.
During his speech, Maduro suggested that the initiative was part of a larger move away from fossil fuels, which have dominated the country’s economy for decades. Maduro said:
Venezuela needs, today more than ever, a diversified economy that looks for quality production and placement of those products in the world, new sources of income for the national wealth (sic).
Below, an image of Maduro speaking at the podium during today’s event:
In the image below, a clapping Maduro is flanked on his right by first lady Cilia Flores, and on his left by vice president Delcy Rodriguez:
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