Caracas, Feb 12 (AFP) Thousands of opposition activists headed out into the streets of Venezuela on Tuesday to demand the military allow in desperately-needed aid, with President Nicolas Maduro’s supporters due to rally against “imperialist intervention.” Opposition leader Juan Guaido called the Youth Day demonstration to honor 40 people killed in anti-government rallies and press for the food and medicine to be brought into the economically-ravaged South American country.

“We are going back to the streets to demand the entry of humanitarian aid that will save the lives of more than 300,000 Venezuelans,” said Guaido, who stunned the world on January 23 when he declared himself acting president.

Taking his authority from the constitution as National Assembly leader, Guaido says Maduro’s presidency is “illegitimate” as it was founded on flawed elections.

He is trying to force the socialist leader from power so he can set up a transitional government and hold new presidential elections.

Maduro meanwhile called a march of young leftists in the center of Caracas denouncing foreign intervention in Venezuela’s affairs and collecting signatures of people who reject US President Donald Trump.

The fate of tons of aid that has been piling up in Colombian collection centers at the border with Venezuela has become central to the power struggle between Guaido and Maduro, who is backed by the powerful armed forces.

Venezuela is in the grip of recession and hyperinflation while millions of people are suffering from a shortage of basic necessities. The UN says some 2.3 million people have fled since 2015. AFP

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.