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When Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó urged people to take to the streets once more on Saturday to defy the government of Nicolás Maduro, his supporters responded with sympathy but also with weariness and fear.
After a week in which they had seen at least four protesters killed and hundreds wounded in brutal clashes with Mr Maduro’s security forces, many questioned whether it was wise to go back on the streets.
“When are you going to march until? Enough!,” tweeted Nangel Medina, a graphic designer from hard-hit Zulia state in the west of the country. “People have already protested and the world knows that we’re in the majority but we’re fighting bullets with whistles and placards.”
“Stop offering us up as cannon fodder and making martyrs out of us in vain,” added María Hernández, another of Mr Guaidó’s 2m twitter followers. “We need concrete actions.”
Mr Guaidó may still have the support of most Venezuelans in his bid to unseat Mr Maduro but after four months of effort, people are tiring.
Saturday’s marches were supposed to win over the military. Mr Guaidó urged his followers to march to military installations and hand over copies of a letter in which he reminded the armed forces of their constitutional duties and urged them to support a “peaceful transition”.
But few people heeded the call and even Mr Guaidó, who had been expected to lead one of the marches, did not turn up.
Instead, weary Venezuelans took advantage of the lull to stock up on supplies.
“These haven’t been easy days and things are still tense,” said 62-year-old Magaly Uzcátegui as she shopped for fruit and vegetables at a market in the El Paraíso district of the capital.
“It was brutal this week. The military police fired a … Read More...