CARACAS – Caracas dawned partially shut down on Tuesday with streets blocked in a number of districts by a resurgence of spontaneous protests in a country sunk in a quagmire of economic, social and political crises.
Minas de Baruta, a poor Caracas neighborhood, was taken over by dozens of its own inhabitants, who closed down access to the area with barricades of trash and rubble, putting stores and public transport out of business.
Locals have been protesting since Monday about the unilateral decision of transport companies to raise the price of tickets, officially regulated at 150 bolivars (11 cents in US coins at the official rate of exchange), to 300 bolivars.
The transport companies, which started applying the price hike without government authorization, have for their part suspended their service to that part of the city.
In the municipalities of Chacao and El Hatillo, opposition strongholds in Caracas, the transport companies also joined forces with the demonstrations of citizens protesting against the Venezuelan government.
In those areas, the streets were blocked by groups of demonstrators who reject the election of the Constituent Assembly that has been called by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the constitution.
Residential areas and thoroughfares of those municipalities were also being barricaded by the people who live there.
A repeat of those protests began to spring up spontaneously on the east side of the Venezuelan capital, even without being instigated by the MUD opposition coalition, which generally controls the demonstrations that have been going on since last April 1.
The opposition announced Monday that it will seek a transition government and called for a general strike this Thursday to step up the pressure against the Constituent Assembly promoted by Maduro.
The three months of anti-government protests in the country has left more than 90 people dead.