(Bloomberg) — Small, hastily organized town hall meetings are popping up all across Venezuela as the country’s opposition regroups around a new leader and works up plans to try to break President Nicolas Maduro’s hold on power.
Largely dormant since a government crackdown in mid-2017, the opposition is coalescing once more and may have found a new leader in Juan Guaido, the freshly minted National Assembly president, who’s galvanized support by asserting that the constitution provides the lawful means to end Maduro’s strongman rule and establish a caretaker government.
Fellow lawmakers and activists are fanning out to industrial cities and coastal towns to explain the idea and fire up a nation worn down by a collapsing economy and government oppression. On Wednesday, assemblies were held simultaneously in the capital and at least two other states, drawing crowds that numbered in the hundreds.
Guaido, 35, told residents in a southeast Caracas middle-class neighborhood Wednesday evening that the road ahead would be long and depended on the support of the international community and the military, long seen as a crucial power broker in Venezuela.
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