Massive power outages continued to hit Venezuela over the weekend, leaving millions in the dark. This comes as the United States and Russia clash over whether the country’s elected president should be overthrown, raising concerns of an increased conflict.
As tensions continue to rise in Venezuela, opposition leader Juan Guaido is now admitting that—although he has said he has the support of 90 percent of the people in the country—his success at becoming the next president, relies on support from the military.
Rival demonstrations were held over the weekend in Venezuela, and citizens took to the streets to show their support for both Guaido and for elected President Nicolas Maduro. But the crowds served as a reminder that although Guaido has managed to garner support from the United States and a number of its allies, he still does not have the support of the country’s military.
Russia, China, and Turkey have also maintained their support for Maduro and the foreign minister of Venezuela traveled to Ankara today to meet with Turkish officials. Turkey’s foreign minister confirmed that his country plans to increase cooperation with Venezuela “in all fields” despite pressure from the U.S.
While there have been conflicting reports over whether the Maduro government would allow shipments of humanitarian aid inside the country, more than 65 tons of medicine and supplies were delivered by China to Caracas on Friday. The Chinese ambassador called Venezuela an essential strategic partner and friend, and said that this shipment will be the first of many.
However, the citizens of Venezuela have continued to struggle as massive blackouts spread across the country in recent days. Maduro announced a 30-day plan to ration electricity in response to the massive outages, which he again blamed on what he called a terrorist attack from U.S. backed opponents.
But the frustration surrounding the situation came to a head as crowds of protesters in some districts took to the streets, blocking traffic and clashing with police.
While citizens struggled to gain access to the most basic resources in Venezuela, Guaido’s wife received the royal treatment in the U.S. In addition to a meeting with President Trump in Washington, DC, Fabiana Rosales traveled to Miami where she was presented with the key to the city, and referred to as the First Lady of Venezuela.
Tensions have also continued to rise between the United States and Russia, amid reports that Russian military personnel were present in Caracas. Despite threats from the US, Russia has maintained that it will keep military experts in Venezuela for as long as the government needs them.
As U.S. officials claim that Russia’s involvement in Venezuela is a “provocative threat,” it has sparked fears that clashes in Venezuela could pick up where conflict in Syria left off.