Reuters news agency reports that Venezuela’s opposition vowed on Monday to escalate protests after a massive unofficial vote against President Nicolas Maduro that the leftist government mocked as a “gigantic fraud.” After months of demonstrations that have led to nearly 100 deaths, the Democratic Unity coalition said it brought 7.2 million people out on Sunday for an informal referendum intended to remove a leader they call a dictator. Opposition legislator Tomas Guanipa said, “We’re going to be on the streets every day, the whole country is going to rise, it’s the start of zero hour.” Zero hour refers to when an event is scheduled to begin.
President Maduro’s foes are demanding a general election and want to stop his plan to create a controversial new legislative super-body called a Constituent Assembly in a July 30 vote. Opposition strategy may include lengthy road blockades and sit-ins, a national strike, or possibly a march on the Miraflores presidential palace, similar to events before a short-lived coup against then President Hugo Chavez in 2002.
Reuters report found here.