Venezuela's government and opposition both demonstrated Tuesday on International Workers' Day as the upcoming May 20 presidential election approaches, and in which the head of state Nicolas Maduro will seek reelection.
The ruling party will also commemorate the occasion a year ago when Maduro convened a National Constituent Assembly (ANC), whose members were finally elected but without the previous referendum required by the Constitution, and which is made up entirely of ruling party members, a situation that has sparked accusations of illegitimacy by many countries.
The Chavistas called for a massive mobilization in central and west Caracas in defense of national sovereignty, democracy and workers' "conquests."
Maduro on Monday doubled the minimum salary of workers and increased the subsidies millions of people receive, then extolled these moves as yet more reasons to join the demonstration in the streets in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution that he leads this May Day.
Government spokespersons have said they expect "all the forces of the working class" to join in this demonstration.
Social media and state television channels have also offered invitations to join that march, which will also serve to support Maduro's candidacy in the May 20 vote, which the MUD opposition coalition considers fraudulent and so refuses to take part in it.
Anti-Chavismo, for its part, urged its followers to demonstrate at various points around Caracas and in the interior of the oil-producing country to denounce the nation's current economic crisis and to repudiate the "electoral farce."
The opposition Broad Front for a Free Venezuela, leading the move to shun the presidential election, planned to promote protests in the streets to express citizens' discontent.
In the upcoming election, Venezuelans can choose among President Maduro, former opposition Gov. Henri Falcon, former evangelical pastor Javier Bertucci, businessman Alejandro Ratti and the engineer Reinaldo Quijada.