CARACAS – Many Venezuelans posted protest banners at polling stations on Monday, objecting the upcoming July 30 National Constituent Assembly elections and stocked up on supplies for the two-day strike scheduled for this week.
A 48-hour general strike has been scheduled for this Wednesday and Thursday and is aimed at stopping all activities in the streets of Venezuela to pressure President Nicolas Maduro to withdraw his proposed Constituent Assembly.
In response to this strike call, gas stations were the scene of long lines of cars waiting for refueling, while many supermarkets in Caracas will end the day with more empty shelves than usual, after many people gathered food and other basic products.
The embassy of the United States in Venezuela advised its citizens to take “appropriate preparatory measures” in the face of civil unrest and to avoid travelling into the areas where anti-government demonstrations are taking place daily.
“We advise taking appropriate preparatory measures, including gathering enough food and water for 72 hours,” the embassy said on its website.
As part of the protest agenda of the opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) against the Constituent Assembly, dozens of anti-government groups went to the voting centers scheduled for the elections on Sunday.
The walls of these polling places were filled with posters and slogans against the elections such as “constituent fraud” and “do not vote here.”
The protests were carried out despite Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez warning of “unpredictable consequences” for those who participated in it, because these polling stations are special security zones.
For his part, the head of the campaign for the Constituent Assembly, Hector Rodriguez, on Monday invited the opposition to distance themselves from violence and to avoid boycotting the Constituent Assembly.
The negotiations between the government and the opposition to halt the Assembly are considered the best option to exit from the ongoing crisis and avoid a civil war, according to analyst Luis Vicente Leon.