US backed Venezuela opposition begins campaign to depose Maduro
Venezuela’s opposition has begun a campaign to bring down the government of President Nicolas Maduro amid growing political tensions in the crisis-hit country.
The opposition coalition’s executive secretary, Jesus Torrealba, made the announcement on Tuesday, vowing that the alliance would make use of all means available to oust Maduro.
“Change is coming and no one can stop it,” he said, adding that the Democratic Unity Roundtable, also known as the MUD, has taken “the unanimous decision to call on the Venezuelan people to launch the largest popular pressure movement that has ever existed, to activate all — I repeat, all – mechanisms for change.”
After taking control of the National Assembly legislature in December, the opposition spent weeks on determining its strategy to depose the president.
Torrealba, meanwhile, stressed that the opposition urges “an intense and peaceful national movement.”
The opposition pledged to launch street rallies from Saturday in the capital, Caracas. They have already hinted at a new constitution or a recall referendum, before Maduro’s term in office expires in 2019.
The government of President Maduro has denounced the opposition’s plans as a US-backed attempt to bring about a coup d’état in the oil-rich country that is home to 29 million people.
“They want to organize street rallies to generate violence and bring about a coup, supported by US imperialism,” Maduro’s United Socialist Party No. 2 Diosdado Cabello said on Monday.
The development comes as Venezuela is in the grips of an economic crisis with small protests erupting on a daily basis over food and medicine shortages, power and water cuts, and transport price rises.
The country’s oil-dependent economy shrank 4.5 percent in the first nine months of 2015, according to data provided by its central bank.
The member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) witnessed a whopping inflation rate of 141.5 percent during the same period, which was the highest recorded in the world.