Photos: Protesters demonstrate against Maduro government

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A group of people hold signs that say "No dictadura" as they march down a street.

Supporters of the Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaidó, take part in a protest against embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela, on Jan. 30, 2019.  

Credit:

Carlos Barria/Reuters

As the US levied new sanctions against Venezuela, home to the world's largest oil reserves, supporters of Juan Guaidó staged small-scale protests in Caracas to call for President Nicolás Maduro to step down. 

BBC reporter Guillermo Olmo said the crowds were not large at the protests: 

Guaidó, the self-declared interim president, marched arm-in-arm with protesters and called for more mass marches this coming weekend. 

Related: Is Venezuela on the precipice of presidential change?

Juan Guaidó, center, stands with protesters wearing white

The Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaidó, takes part in a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government outside the hospital in Caracas.

Credit:

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Venezuela's government struck back at Guaidó on Tuesday, with the Supreme Court imposing a travel ban and freeze on his bank accounts despite a warning from Washington of "serious consequences" if it did so.

The court also said prosecutors could investigate Guaidó in apparent retaliation for sweeping US sanctions on oil firm PDVSA, announced on Monday.

Related: Bipartisan effort seeks Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans

The sanctions mean the state-run company may not be able to fulfill contracts with North American buyers, Maduro's government said.

Aimed at driving Maduro from power, the sanctions were the strongest measures yet against the 56-year-old former union leader, who has overseen economic collapse and an exodus of millions of Venezuelans in recent years.

  

A woman holders her fists in the air. She is surrounded by other protestors.

Supporters of the Venezuelan opposition leader shout slogans during the protest in Caracas.

Credit:

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

The United States and several other countries have recognized Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate head of state and denounced Maduro as a usurper. Maduro, sworn in on Jan. 10 for a second term after disputed elections last year, accuses Guaidó of staging a US-directed coup against him. Maduro is backed by a number of countries, including Russia.

Related: This Venezuelan historian worries further US involvement could bring more violence

Maduro's inauguration sparked protests throughout Venezuela. Over 40 people are believed to have been killed in political violence last week, including 26 shot by pro-government forces, five killed in house raids and 11 during looting, UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said on Tuesday.

He said more than 850 people were detained between Jan. 21 and Jan. 26, including 77 children, some as young as 12.

A hand holds up a poster with a simple icon of a man with a mustache in a red "no" circle

A protester holds an anti-Maduro sign during a Wednesday protest in Caracas. 

Credit:

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Meanwhile, Maduro visited a military base in Caracas. 

Nicolas Maduro holds up two fingers as he is surrounded by men in military uniforms.

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro met with soldiers at a military base in Caracas on Wednesday.

Credit:

Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters

A woman stands with her back to the camera and waves a Venezuelan flag in front of her

A woman holds a Veneuzuelan flag during the anti-Maduro protest on Wednesday. Venezuela's opposition leader and self-declared interim president, Juan Guaidó, called for mass marches for the coming weekend. 

Credit:

Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

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