Two dead, 367 arrested, deserted streets and barricades in the strike organized by the opposition, a week before the National Constituent Assembly
Caracas and other cities in Venezuela, such as Maracaibo, Barquisimeto, Valencia, San Cristóbal and Maracay, dawned on Thursday as if it were New Year’s Day. The opposition’s call for a 24-hour “civic and active” national strike, which according to the conveners has had a follow-up of 85%, was beginning to succeed. Deserted streets and barricades testified to this, when there is little more than a week to the date of the election of deputies to the National Constituent Assembly, which the government is not willing to resign. The opposition forces, which rejected this call, began the crucial pulse with the regime.
The Government, however, seemed determined to disregard the evidence of opposition success. In his electronic journals he was busy showing pictures of people in activity and queuing to buy food or medicine. To counteract the call for a strike, he put into service the Caracas Metro, which normally closes when there are protests. He also arranged for the payment of pensions for retired workers in banking agencies on Thursday, and it was even speculated that, in order to force the citizens to go out and exchange them, he would decree the circulation of 100 bolivars, a measure already adopted Last December but whose entry into force has been postponed ever since.
The strike is the first massive event planned in the calendar of what the MUD called Zero Hour, the final offensive to prevent the formation of the Constituent Assembly that the government seeks to carry out to combat the powers that are adverse, such as the National Assembly and the Office of the Prosecutor, and make a new regulation in their favor. On July 30, the elections must be held to elect more than 500 deputies among 6,000 candidates screened and selected by Maduro.