Capriles, the twice presidential candidate of the opposition Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), warned President Maduro on 11 January that the people were getting “desperate” and that “patience is running out”. Capriles said that the scarcity of food and other essential products for everyday use since the start of the year had been so severe that he could not in all conscience ignore the plight of ordinary Venezuelans. After meeting other MUD opposition figureheads, such as María Corina Machado, and leaders of López’s Voluntad Popular (VP), Capriles announced the following day that he had agreed with the MUD to call street protests.

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