Thousands protest in Venezuela demanding President Maduro’s resignation

Caracas, Oct 27 (IANS) Thousands of people took to streets here demanding a referendum against President Nicolás Maduro and to show support for the opposition leaders, media reports said.

Dressed in white and waving banners and signs demanding Maduro’s resignation, they gathered at seven points across the city to march through the streets, converging in the east of the capital, the Telegraph reported.

Protestors also blocked the main Francisco Fajardo highway, for the first time in many years chanting slogans against the President.

“We are absolutely convinced of the need for change – peaceful, but profound change in the government,” said Jesus Torrealba, a leader of the opposition.

The protests come a day after Venezuela’s National Assembly voted to start legal proceedings to remove Maduro from power after his government indefinitely suspended an attempt by the opposition to remove him from power in a recall referendum.

The legislature’s move was mostly symbolic, because the Supreme Court, which is allied with Maduro, has banned the congress from passing any laws or measures, Wall Street Journal reported.

Maduro responded to Tuesday’s vote by calling it a “parliamentary coup,” and has called all top public officials to an emergency meeting in Caracas on Wednesday afternoon.

On October 19, after the National Assembly’s plan to hold a referendum to recall Maduro failed, the opposition coalition is now using its power base in congress to begin legal action against the President.

Maduro made a trip to the Vatican on October 24, where Pope Francis attempted to reconcile the diametrically opposed factions in Venezuela, but even this seems to have failed as opposition supporters are rallying for “The Takeover of Venezuela”.