Juan Guaidó, Venezuela’s main opposition leader, called for nationwide protests on Saturday, April 6, after the National Constituent Assembly revoked his parliamentary immunity. The president of the Constituent Assembly, Diosado Cabello, announced on the evening (local time) of Tuesday, April 2, that Guaidó’s immunity has been lifted following a previous request by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ). Following the announcement, Guaidó gave a speech posted on social media stating he would not back down from his attempts to remove President Nicolás Maduro. Exact details regarding the April 6 protests have not been released as of Tuesday evening.
Public demonstrations in support of Guaidó or Maduro are possible in the coming days, particularly if the opposition leader is arrested. A heightened security presence is expected in the vicinity of all such demonstrations and clashes between protesters and security forces, as well as arrests, are likely.
The TSJ called for Guaidó’s immunity to be lifted on April 1, stating that he violated a travel ban when he visited Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Paraguay in later February and early March. Political tensions have remained high across Venezuela, particularly after a recent series of nationwide power outages that have caused disruptions to transportation, water distribution systems, and telecommunications services. The government has claimed outages have been caused by acts of "sabotage" carried out by the US; however, previous outages that had been blamed on attacks were later attributed to infrastructural deficiencies.
Venezuela is experiencing an ongoing crisis spurred by President Nicolás Maduro's inauguration to a second term as president on January 10 following last year's contested election, prompting the National Assembly to declare a national emergency. At least 50 foreign governments, including the US, Canada, and Brazil, among others, have since recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the interim head of state. Guaidó has reportedly coordinated several deliveries of humanitarian aid from neighboring states which have been blocked by the Maduro regime.
Individuals in Venezuela are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to instructions issued by their home governments, keep battery-operated devices fully charged whenever possible, remain vigilant for criminal behavior and avoid conspicuous displays of wealth, refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media, and avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest. In addition, individuals are advised to be cautious when driving or crossing streets if traffic signals are not functional.
The security situation in Venezuela remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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