DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - Hundreds of people came together in Doral in a dramatic show of support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, calling for the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro.
7News cameras captured dozens upon dozens of demonstrators at CityPlace Doral on a rainy Saturday night, but the soggy weather did not dampen their spirits.
Protesters said Maduro’s actions since he rose to power have led to a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
“There’s so many reasons he should be out from a long time,” said demonstrator Juliana Hernandez.
The gathering at CityPlace took place hours after hundreds more packed Doral Central Park, located at 3000 NW 87th Ave., Saturday afternoon.
Demonstrators chanted, waved Venezuelan flags and held up signs, joining thousands across the nation who took to the streets calling for Maduro to step down after what many have called years of violence and unrest under his leadership.
That charge has been led by Guaido, who has declared himself the South American country’s interim president.
“It’s time for [Maduro] to go. He’s destroyed the country,” said U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., seen wearing a baseball cap with the colors of the Venezuelan flag.
“You hear the stories of how they killed their father or their son, or how right now they’re in jail,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, “and how they’re mistreated, getting hit with bats every day. It’s tough to hear.”
“They don’t have food. There’s no medicine over there,” said CityPlace demonstrator Jimena Hernandez. “The hospitals are — they’re missing nurses, staff members are missing, or they don’t get paid a lot.”
“We need our Venezuelan people to be free, to be able to enjoy their lives, to have food and medicine,” said a demonstrator, “to be taken care of as they deserve.”
In Venezuela, tens of thousands have flooded the streets of the embattled country in dueling protests.
Guaido addressed his supporters on Saturday. He urged them to show their support in peaceful protests.
Meanwhile, Maduro opposed calls for him to step down. He proposed holding early elections in an attempt to outmaneuver growing support for the opposition leader.
Protesters in Doral hope a resolution comes soon, so their beloved country can finally flourish under new leadership.
“This is a magnificent country that deserves so much more and deserves to put democracy back in place,” said Shalala.
“We have been through so much that I want them free,” said Hernandez. “It’s what we deserve.”
Guaido also urged military members to abandon Maduro’s regime and called for a new presidential election.
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