VENEZUELA

Venezuelans take to streets as uprising attempt sputters

Venezuelans heeded opposition leader Juan Guaidó's call to fill streets around the nation Wednesday but security forces showed no sign of answering his cry for a widespread military uprising, instead dispersing crowds with tear gas as the political crisis threatened to deepen. Opposition leaders hoped Guaidó's risky move would stir high-ranking defections and shake Maduro's grip on power. But only the chief of Venezuela's feared intelligence agency broke ranks, while most others stood steadfast. The dramatic events could spell even more uncertainty for Venezuela, which has been rocked by three months of political upheaval since Guaidó declared himself interim president, saying Maduro had usurped power. Now the struggle has heightened geopolitical dimensions, with the United States and more than 50 other nations backing Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president and Maduro allies like Russia lending the beleaguered president military and economic support.