Protesters seized control of the main highway through Venezuela’s capital again Wednesday, but their march toward government buildings downtown was pushed back by police water cannons and a barrage of tear gas.
Although the standoff has played out the same way several times this month, opponents of President Nicolás Maduro insist they will continue to pressure his government through near-daily protests, sit-ins and other acts of civil disobedience.
Wednesday’s blocked march underscored the degree to which the country’s political crisis has become a battle of attrition between Maduro and his reenergized opponents. Caracas was crippled for another day, as the government shut down subway and bus systems and choked off highway access to the capital in what appeared to be an attempt to limit the size of the protests.
Thousands marched against the government anyway, some ready with gas masks. Many turned and ran from the roadway as riot police fired canisters of tear gas into the crowds.