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Venezuela crisis: Opposition's Guaidó awaits army support

April 2, 2019 5:15 am

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has acknowledged that there can only be a change of government with the support of the armed forces.

Military chiefs have so far remained loyal to President Nicolás Maduro.

Mr Guaidó declared himself interim leader in January and says he is supported by “almost 90%” of Venezuelans. He also has US backing.

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On Sunday Venezuelan authorities said they would shorten the working day and keep schools closed due to power cuts.

Offices would stop working at 14:00 local time “to achieve consistency in the provision of electricity”, Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez said on state TV.

Mr Guaidó told the BBC’s Leonardo Rocha that the frequent power cuts and water shortages – which have hit hospitals, public transport and other services – were driving intense public anger against Mr Maduro’s government.

“We have a situation now with protests in more than 20 districts of the capital, Caracas, and in all Venezuelan states. People are demanding that power and water supplies be restored, but also for the usurper, Nicolás Maduro, to go, which is the main message,” he said.

The government has claimed the blackouts are the result of sabotage to force Mr Maduro from office.

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