Venezuelan nationals here in Trinidad are gathering for mass protests today after Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó called for fresh demonstrations.

It comes the day after President Nicolás Maduro said he had stopped an “attempted coup” by the opposition.

Mr Guaidó says the armed forces now back the protesters, but Mr Maduro says they have not turned against him.

In a fiery television address on Tuesday, Mr Maduro accused protesters of “serious crimes” which he said would “not go unpunished”, and said the US was plotting against him.

Dozens of National Guardsmen sided with the opposition in clashes on Tuesday that injured more than 100 people.

Meanwhile the United States is saying that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro must leave the country even if he gives up power.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton says President Maduro is “now surrounded by scorpions in a bottle and it’s only a matter of time” before he’s ousted.

Crowds started gathering in Altamira Square — at the center of the opposition heartland in Venezuela’s capital — but they’re “not showing signs of moving anywhere just yet,” said CNN’s Michael Holmes at the scene.

 

T&T Maintains Non-Interference Position

Despite the unrest, Trinidad and Tobago is maintaining its principled position of non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

This is according to National Security and Communications Minister, Stuart Young.

In a media release issued  by the Ministry of National Security, Minister Young expressed his hope that the Venezuelan people will resolve their affairs peacefully.

He also addressed concerns voiced by citizens within recent times, of the porousness of the nation’s border, particularly in light of the unrest in Venezuela.

Minister Young advised that the relevant Divisions of the Ministry have been working together and have been focused on securing the Nation’s borders and will continue to do so.