Venezuela braces for rival protests as crisis intensifies

(ALJAZEERA) – Thousands of opposition and pro-government protesters are expected to rally in Venezuela on Wednesday, a day after opposition leader Juan Guaido called for the military to depose President Maduro.

“Across all of Venezuela, we will be in the streets,” Guaido tweeted early on Wednesday. The US-backed self-declared leader also repeated his call for the armed forces to join “Operation Freedom” to overthrow Maduro.

The socialist leader remained defiant, however, calling his supporters to the streets.

“Tomorrow, the first of May, we will have a large, millions-strong march of the working class,” Maduro said in a Tuesday night television address. “We have been confronting different types of aggression and attempted coups never before seen in our history.”

He added on Twitter, “Venezuela is a land of peace and independence.”