CARACAS, March 12. /TASS/. Venezuelan authorities’ supporters, including members of armed pro-government groups known as ‘colectivos’, should be ready to act amid new opposition protests, President Nicolas Maduro told national television late on Monday.
"I appeal to the entire huge popular movement in Venezuela, local supply and production committees, <…> "colectivos." It’s time for active resistance," Maduro said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Venezuela’s opposition plans to stage new protests across the country. The majority of the South American state, which is engulfed by a social, economic and political crisis, has been without electricity since March 7, and this even more worsened living conditions for millions of its citizens.
According to the Venezuelan Criminal Forum NGO, nearly 970 people were detained during anti-government demonstrations in the country on January 21-31. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said at least 40 Venezuelans were believed to have been killed during the manifestations since January 22.
On February 23, Venezuela’s opposition tried to bring humanitarian aid into the country via the borders with Colombia and Brazil, which have been closed due to a decision of the official Caracas. The units of the National Guard and police did not let the cargos enter the country and several trucks were burnt. During the riots hundreds of people were injured, including dozens of Colombian citizens. According to various estimates, between four and 25 people were killed.