Antigovernment protests in Venezuela

This item appears on page 18 of the March 2019 issue.

Rallying against president Nicolás Maduro's government, more than a million protesters took to the streets in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, on Jan. 23, with smaller protests held in cities throughout the country. More than 40 people were reported killed during the protests, which continued at press time.

Maduro was sworn in for a second term on Jan. 10 after a vote that was widely viewed, internationally and domestically, as illegitimate. On Jan. 23, National Assembly and opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared that he would take over as acting president, and he encouraged the armed forces to support him.

Two days before the protests took place, on Jan. 21, a contingent of Venezuela's National Guard captured a National Guard post in Caracas, seizing weapons and taking some hostages. The group demanded the immediate removal of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. The rebelling soldiers, who numbered 27, were later arrested at the post. During this event, civilian protesters erected barriers and burned trash, clashing with security forces who were trying to engage the rebel soldiers.