Venezuelan Capital Returns to Normal Life, Atmosphere Calming After Protests

© REUTERS / Carlos Garcia RawlinsProtesters clash with riot police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas
Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - On the second day after mass nationwide rallies in Venezuela, the atmosphere in its capital of Caracas is calm, with more and more shops, office buildings, and private educational institutions continuing to re-open, the residents of the city told Sputnik.

Since the beginning of the week, mass protests have been shaking Venezuela, and on Wednesday the situation escalated further, with opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaiming himself the country's interim president in a bid to force out Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro. The United States, along with a range of other countries, has announced that they recognized Guaido as the country's president and called on Maduro, whom they believe had not been elected legitimately, to prevent any acts of violence against the opposition,

Two Days of Calm

The residents of Caracas told Sputnik that there had not been any tumult either on Thursday or on Friday. Locals are not afraid to leave their homes, they lead regular lives and continue their work and studies.

"I've been outdoors, everything is calm. There has not been any unrest. Yes, rallies were held on January 23, but now it's not the case. There is certainly some discontent, but it has to do with the general economic situation. Food is available in stores, but to be honest, it is too expensive for an ordinary person," Felix Caballero, who lives in the central district of Caracas, said.

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Caballero specified that there were water and electricity shortages in several districts.

"Sometimes it [water and electricity supply] is disrupted and then recovered after a few days. But this is an administrative problem that has long been in place and has nothing to do with the current situation," he explained.

Caballero expressed belief that prices had not been affected by the conflict.

"Shops are being opened, banks are operating… Everything is fine. Everyday life has not been affected, everything is as usual," Caballero said.

The head of the Caracas-based Institute of Russian Language and Culture named after Alexander Pushkin, Rosalba Lo Bue Antico, confirmed that the city was living its regular life.

"Everything is absolutely normal in the city. I even managed to take children to school yesterday. Today, private institutions started operating, as well as schools and universities… This is an important sign," Lo Bue Antico said.

READ MORE: US Policy Toward Venezuela is 'Destructive' — Lavrov

She praised law enforcement agencies for maintaining control over the situation.

The City is Recovering 

Vladimir Strauss, a professor at Simon Bolivar University, told Sputnik that the city residents were returning to their normal lives.

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"I haven't noticed any sign of unrest… In the evening, some people were banging on pots again, but not too strongly and not for long. Apart from this, there has not been anything attention-worthy. On January 23, one could see that many institutions were closed. Yesterday, shops started to re-open, while some of them are still closed. But I have no impression that people are waiting for anything," Strauss said.

The professor added that he would resume his professional activities on Monday, as the university had been closed due to technical reasons but is currently resuming operations.

He specified that none of those whom he had recently been communicating with had told him anything special, as they were just complaining about inflation as usual.

The views and opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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