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The opponent Juan Guaido perched on a car in a street of Caracas, this Saturday, March 9. REUTERS / Ivan Alvarado

The opposition of Juan Guaido and supporters of Nicolas Maduro had met on the streets of the Venezuelan capital this Saturday, March 9, 2019. Two events while the giant power cut continues to affect almost all of the territory. And, for the first time since January 23, the day was nearly enamelled with violence.

With our correspondent in Caracas , Benjamin Delille

After almost 40 hours without electricity , the supporters of the opposition are not as numerous as hoped for in Altamira square in Caracas. Rafael, 63, is disappointed but keeps hope: " The problem is that the power outage does not help us because we no longer have access to social networks or the subway. And the concentration points were only announced yesterday. "

" All the products in the fridge are about to rot. It's lamentable, I wish that these people go away of themselves, because here we do not want deaths ", adds Antonio who lives Petare, the biggest shantytown of the country.


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Alejandra Protestant pro-Guaido 10/03/2019 - by Benjamin Delille Play

The place is still quite empty when the procession starts at a rapid pace. According to Rafael, the situation is where Juan Guaido has to talk. " We're going to Victoria Avenue. They are suppressing the people there so we all go to try to help people. "

" What would Maduro gain from cutting the power "

On Libertador Avenue, it is the Chavists who meet for an anti-imperialist march. Namaria Morales refutes any responsibility of the government in the power outage: " We think it is a sabotage because what would Maduro gain from cutting the power? Let's start hating him? That's all he could get so it does not make sense. It is sure that it is a sabotage. "

Nicolas Maduro has greeted his supporters also gathered in the streets of the capital, this Saturday, March 9, 2019. Miraflores Palace / Handout via REUTERS

An argument that does not convince anyone on Victoria Avenue where the crowd of opponents forced the police back. A cordon of armed men blocks several access points and part of the avenue. Protesters try to rally them without success. But Juan Guaido still manages to get around the roadblocks with a crowd of opponents.

" Too much is too much ," rises Valentina, who is part of the group. We want an intervention, we can not take it anymore. This diet has shown that he will not leave. We can beg, ask in a thousand ways, nothing helps. Only strength remains. "

The police having confiscated the scene, it is with the megaphone, on the roof of his vehicle that Juan Guaido speaks in front of a delirious crowd which does not hear it almost. But what does it matter to the protesters, for them the important thing is to have been able to meet despite everything.

■ Successful new bravado for Guaido

This is a new symbolic success for Juan Guaido. After his triumphant return to Venezuela last Monday when he was threatened with arrest, he has once again circumvented the barriers that the Venezuelan government is trying to impose on him.

Successes that humiliate Nicolas Maduro and tighten the link between Juan Guaidó and his followers. Part of public opinion now devotes a cult. His appearances unleash the crowds who chant his name as that of a providential man.

However, in fact, the opposition has not kept any of its promises to weaken the government: the military did not let go of their president, humanitarian aid is still blocked at the border, and Nicolas Maduro maintains his stranglehold on power.

It remains to be seen how long Juan Guaidó will be able to keep his supporters mobilized. As they are aware of the intransigence of the government, more and more of them are asking for foreign military intervention. Except that, presumably, this intervention will not take place, too many countries allied to the opposition reject it.