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  • A supporter of Venezuelan opposition holds a flag while taking part in a protest in Caracas, Venezuela Jan. 30, 2019.

    A supporter of Venezuelan opposition holds a flag while taking part in a protest in Caracas, Venezuela Jan. 30, 2019.

Published 31 January 2019

Altamira square, ground zero for the opposition saw almost a thousand demonstrators. The vast majority were members of the privileged classes of Caracas society.

Protests called by self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido for Jan. 30 were much smaller and calmer than anticipated, and limited to the upper-class neighborhoods in the east of the capital of Caracas. Meanwhile, supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro came out to protest intervention by foreign actors.

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Guaido made an appearance at Central University Hospital where he was surrounded by just hundreds of students and some medical professors. According to him, this venue was meant communicate the arrival of so-called humanitarian aid that will arrive "in weeks" time.

Altamira square, ground zero for the opposition saw almost a thousand demonstrators. The vast majority were members of the privileged classes of Caracas society, however, according to reporter Felipe Yapur who was interviewing people on site, there were groups of young people filtering through the crowds from apparent lower classes paid to participate when and if violence ensues.

@JGuaido's followers lose steam, look how the people left after an hour.

Altamira square, ground zero for the opposition saw almost a thousand demonstrators. The vast majority were members of the privileged classes of Caracas society, however, according to reporter Felipe Yapur who was interviewing people on site, there were groups of young people filtering through the crowds from apparent lower classes paid to participate when and if violence ensues.

According to sources from security agencies, these youths charge a wage that ranges from between US$ 10 and 30 daily depending on the type of demonstration.

Accusations among the protesters, when interviewed, range from xenophobia to conspiracy saying that Cubans “exploit and expropriate the country” and that President Nicolas Maduro is actually Colombian.

Meanwhile, Chavista and pro-government groups came together Jan. 31 to protest interference in Venezuela by the U.S. which includes stealing assets away from the state-run oil agency PDVSA. The much larger protests took place in downtown Caracas and included workers groups and concerned citizens. 

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