Three people were killed, and more than 20 injured, on 12 February as pro- and anti-government marchers clashed in Caracas. Venezuela’s government blamed the opposition for the violence, accusing it of plotting another coup; the opposition blamed pro-government militants for trying to break up a legitimate protest. The march was the culmination of two weeks of protests in several states calling for President Nicolás Maduro to go. Maduro is facing a concatenation of problems, especially in the economic sphere, and has resorted to desperate measures to try and redress food shortages and find a quick fix for the arcane currency exchange system. The opposition is split on how to capitalise on his travails: radicals advocate an aggressive strategy; moderates a peaceful campaign to ‘win hearts and minds’.

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