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South Florida Venezuelans Join New Round Of Worldwide Protests Against Maduro

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The interim President of Venezuela Juan Gauidó and leader of National Assembly called for a new round of worldwide protests for Wednesday and Saturday.

Venezuelans living in South Florida will be joining the protests, as they did on the 23rd of January, where millions around the world turned to the streets to protest against Nicolas Maduro.

They gathered in Weston, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., at the intersection of Weston Road and Royal Palm Boulevard.

Venezuelans are angry over soaring hyperinflation, lack of food, medical shortages, corruption, repression, Cuban intervention and the mass exodus of millions.

Guaidó invited all Venezuelans to demonstrate peacefully to ask that "they be allowed to open a humanitarian channel" and demand to the Armed Forces to "take the side of the people."

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump spoke Guaidó to congratulate him on his historic assumption of the presidency and to reinforce his strong support for Venezuela's fight to regain its democracy, the White House announced.

"Guaidó thanked President Trump for the United States' commitment to freedom and prosperity in Venezuela and the region, and noted the importance of the large protests across Venezuela against former dictator Maduro, set to occur Wednesday and Saturday. They agreed to maintain regular communication to support Venezuela's path back to stability, and to rebuild the bilateral relationship between the United States and Venezuela," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Last week, Guaidó gained international recognition from dozens of nations, including the United States, after he became the interim president of Venezuela.

Nicolas Maduro, who still counts with the support of the military, was declared a 'usurper' to the presidency of the country.

On Wednesday, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. local time, "in every corner of Venezuela we will go out into the streets demanding that the armed forces take the side of the people," said Guaidó.

Guaidó also announced what he called 'a great mobilization' in all corners of the national territory and the world in support of the European Union (EU), which demanded President Maduro call new elections, or else they will recognize the legislative leader.

Although the EU did not set deadlines, member countries gave an ultimatum calling for free elections, a demand that Maduro has repudiated.

"On Saturday, there will be a great mobilization throughout Venezuela and the whole world to accompany the support of the European Union and the ultimatum," said Guaidó.

Venezuelans living in South Florida will be gathering at Doral City Place this Saturday at 4 p.m. to join the worldwide protest against Maduro.

Guaidó has said he wants to achieve the cessation of usurpation of power by Maduro, set up a transitional government and the call for free elections.

Maduro has accused Guaidó and US President Donald Trump of plotting a coup to oust him from power.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory for U.S. citizens wishing to visit Venezuela.

In 2017, the Supreme Court of Venezuela, appointed by Maduro, disavowed the democratically elected National Assembly and formed its own parallel congress.

In 2018, this congress called for presidential elections, but opposition candidates were banned from running. These were called illegitimate elections by the international community. Maduro won with 20 percent of the vote.

The same year, inflation in Venezuela hit 1.7 million percent with the International Monetary Fund projecting inflation to surpass 10 million percent in 2019.

The United Nations says about 5 million Venezuelans have left the country because of the current situation.

This week, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA in a move to pressure Maduro to step down.

Maduro has said that he is open to dialogue and that he has the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Venezuela sits on the world's largest oil reserves.

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