By: Keryn Nelson
The leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Juan Guaidóhas designated April 6 as a ‘drill day’ for the mobilization leg of its “Operation Freedom” strategy.
Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim President in January, made the announcement during an address to the people of Venezuela on March 27. Though the exact date and details of what the drill entails remain undisclosed, Guaidósays the aim is to increase pressure and mobilization of citizens to oust President Nicolas Maduro’s government.
According to sources, it is expected that the Guaidóadministration’s Operation Freedom strategy will see massive rallies being held in 20 to 30 places in Caracas, in an effort to limit the government’s capacity to repress. The opposition leader claims to already have 800,000 volunteers. “At its heart, Operation Freedom means maximum popular political pressure of the kind never before seen in Venezuela,” Guaidó has said.
Guaidó’sannouncement came after approximately one hundred members of Russia’s military landed in Venezuela and following intermittent blackouts occurring across nearly 12 cities for the past three weeks.
One Caracas resident and employee at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, told Caribbean Chronicle, “Classes have been suspended in the university. It’s due to a lack of buses and security. It’s all a mess.” The blackouts have resulted in the closing of schools and businesses as well as interruption’s to broadcasting and transportation systems. The country’s largest airport was also left in darkness on Wednesday.
So far, President Maduro has called for “an electricity rationing program to be established,” to deal with the blackouts which he claims are due to sabotage “to the nation’s electric grid” by the opposition and the United States.
Meanwhile, Guaidóhas attributed the blackouts to old infrastructure.
According to the Caracas resident, the country’s condition is worsening but he believes it is in large part due to “the government’s incapacity to do anything and international sanctions.” The man also believes residents are unconcerned about the presence of members of the Russian military as they presume it is only to send “a message to the United States.”
During a visit by Fabiana Rosales—wife of Juan Guaidó, in response to a question on Russia’s presence in Venezuela, United States President, Donald Trump responded, “Russia has to get out.”