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    Opposition protesters in Venezuela shut down highways, bridges and other infrastructure as pressure mounts on President Nicolas Maduro to resign in favor of new elections

    Caracas Residents Block Major Highway After Opposition Rally - Police (VIDEOS)

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    CARACAS (Sputnik) - A group of local residents has blocked the Francisco Fajardo highway, which connects the western and the eastern sides of the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, and has also started to set fire to tires there soon after the march of the supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaido, a source in Caracas' police told Sputnik on Sunday.

    "People wearing hoods are burning tires on the Francisco Fajardo highway", the source said. Photographs seen by Sputnik feature a group of unidentified individuals blocking the movement on the highway after the march, which took place there on Saturday.

    On Saturday, both Guaido's supporters and those backing President Nicolas Maduro took to the streets amid escalating political crisis in the country.

    On 23 January, Guaido, the speaker of the opposition-led National Assembly, proclaimed himself the country’s interim president. Maduro has repeatedly blamed Washington for being behind a state coup in Venezuela. Russia, along with Mexico, Uruguay, China, Iran and Turkey and other states were among the countries that have voiced their support for Maduro as the only legitimate leader.

    Thousands of people reportedly took to the streets on Saturday in several states of Venezuela to support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. Guaido has called on local residents to stand up for human rights, holding of presidential elections in the country and opening of a channel for humanitarian aid.

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    Earlier in the day, Venezuelan Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello announced the beginning of a march of constitutionally elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's supporters.

    Similarly, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called on Saturday on his compatriots living in Caracas to take to the streets and defend their homeland and the country's independence.

    Venezuela is currently facing a political crisis with opposition leader Guaido having declared himself the country’s interim president in a bid to ouster Maduro. Moreover, the United States, which has supported Guaido, has seized millions of worth of assets of Venezuela's state-owned oil and gas company PDVSA.

    READ MORE: Venezuela Gets 'Ukrained'

    In response, Maduro called Guaido a "US puppet", accusing the Trump administration of plotting to overthrow him.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (274)

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    Tags:
    rally, opposition, Francisco Fajardo highway, Juan Guaido, Jorge Arreaza, Diosdado Cabello, Nicolas Maduro, Caracas, Venezuela