Venezuela has plunged into a major political crisis amid a growing row over President Nicolas Maduro's future as the country's leader.

Maduro started a second term on January 10, following a widely boycotted election last year that many foreign governments refused to recognise.

On January 23, Juan Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself interim president.

Shortly after Guaido took an oath swearing himself in, US President Donald Trump publicly recognised him as the country's leader.

Maduro accused Guaido of staging a coup and ordered his arrest.

Here are all the latest updates as of Saturday March 9, a day in which hundreds are expected out in the streets as both Guaido and Maduro have called out for support:
Police block opposition protesters

Riot police are blocking protesters as hundreds of people are taking to the streets.

"We want to march! Yes we can!" opposition protesters are shouting as riot police prevent them from accessing the street in east Caracas where their demonstration is due to take place.
Government supporters are in the streets

The Socialist Party has called for a march to protest against what it calls imperialism by the US, which has levied crippling oil sanctions on Maduro's government in efforts to cut off its sources of funding.

"Today we are - more than ever before - anti-imperialists," Maduro writes on Twitter. "We will never give up."

People will surprise [the government]

"They think they can scare us, but the people and the street will surprise them," Guaido writes on Twitter.  

"They intend to wear us down, but they can't contain a nation that is determined to stop the usurpation."

"Today we will show them in the streets."

The people have started gathering in Caracas.

"[Opposition supporters] have started gathering here to protest against the policies of Nicolas Maduro," Bo says.

"It's an extremely tense situation, because the Bolivarian National Guard and the police are just about half away from the block from where we are right now, and people are screaming on their faces, telling them to join in, in their fight against Maduro.

"The government, on the other hand, had asked people to gather not far away from the Presidential palace, they said it's a demonstration for the government and against imperialism."

Maduro, Guaido rallies set

Thousands of Venezuelans are expected to take to the streets once again as Guaido cranks up the pressure on  Nicolas Maduro.

Both Guaido and Maduro, who are locked in a bitter power struggle for the right to lead the oil-rich South American nation, have asked their supporters to fill the streets of Caracas and other cities.

"The US Empire, once again, underestimates the conscience and determination of the Venezuelan people," Maduro writes on Twitter.

"I assure you, that every attempt at imperial aggression will be met with a strong response."

Guaido makes a call on Twitter:

"Tomorrow, I call on the Venezuelan people to make a huge statement in the streets against the usurper, corrupt and incapable regime that has plunged our country into darkness."

"We return to the streets and we won't leave until we reach the goal," writes the 35-year-old National Assembly leader.

Power restored to parts of Venezuela

The blackout was reported to have hit 22 of 23 states, striking during the peak of evening rush hour on Thursday.

By early Friday afternoon, residents and state broadcaster VTV reported that power was starting to return to parts of Caracas. Neither Socialist Party officials nor state power company Corpoelec have provided further updates on the situation.

"Today the [government says] the blackout, of more than 15 hours, is the product of an external sabotage," Guaido said on Twitter.

"Sabotage is stealing money from Venezuelans. Sabotage is burning food and medicine. Sabotage is stealing elections."
source:aljazeera

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