Thousands of Venezuelan opposition supporters participated in rallies led by opposition leader Juan Guaidó in Miranda state, outside Caracas, on Saturday, March 30, denouncing power blackouts that have affected states across Venezuela in recent days and weeks. This latest anti-government protest comes as the Venezuelan authorities attempt to restore power following blackouts on Monday, March 25, and Friday, March 29, that left most of the country in the dark. A rival "anti-imperialist" march in support of President Nicolás Maduro was also held in the capital on Saturday.
Similar opposition-led and pro-Maduro demonstrations are to be expected in Venezuela, particularly around Caracas, over the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence is to be anticipated near all such demonstrations and clashes between protesters and security forces, arrests, and localized transportation disruptions are likely.
Recent power outages in Venezuela 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.
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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