Nicolas Maduro posted a 40-minute livestream of his plans for carnival as Venezuela continues to collapse, and Guaido hints at snatching the government from under him

maduro carnival livestreamVenezuelan President Nicolás Maduro discussed plans for Venezuela's upcoming Carnaval celebrations on Wednesday while the country continues to crumble.Nicolás Maduro/Twitter

  • Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro recorded a lengthy livestream on Wednesday, talking about the state's carnival plans and showing Venezuelans celebrating.
  • It came four days after at least two people died and at least 300 more were injured in violent clashes over the government's refusal to let in humanitarian aid.
  • Meanwhile, self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó is planning to end his exile in Colombia, and mobilizing protests in Venezuela. 

Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday tweeted a 40-minute-long livestream on Periscope about the government's carnival preparations as the country further spirals into crisis.

Carnival - or "Carnaval" as known in Venezuela - is a big celebration celebrated before Lent every year, in which people dress up in costumes, dance, and attend parades with floats.

Maduro's video came after a weekend of violent clashes when state forces barred activists from bringing in aid through the Colombian and Brazilian borders.

Venezuelan demonstrators throw stones during clashes with authorities, at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, Saturday, Feb.23, 2019. Tensions are running high in the Brazilian border city of Pacaraima. Thousands remained at the city's international border crossing with Venezuela to demand the entry of food and medicine.(AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)Venezuelan demonstrators throw stones during clashes with authorities, at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, Saturday, Feb.23, 2019. Tensions are running high in the Brazilian border city of Pacaraima. Thousands remained at the city's international border crossing with Venezuela to demand the entry of food and medicine.(AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)Associated Press

Police fired tear gas and pellets on protesters, killing at least two and injuring at least 300, The Associated Press (AP) reported. More than 300 Venezuelan soldiers defected and fled to Colombia after the unrest, the AP added.

Read more: Photos show chaos in Venezuela as protesters and soldiers clash over humanitarian aid shipments

But in his lengthy stream, Maduro primarily focused on his plans for a "safe carnival" in 2019. The video showed Venezuelans in costumes dancing and celebrating, as the president calls on ministers, governors and mayors to explain how the government will ensure smooth festivities. 

Maduro then mused about cute children in costuems before announcing that he will also dress up and join the celebration.

The leader is often criticized for organizing big celebrations and performances, like salsa dancing, as a distraction from the humanitarian and economic crisis plaguing the nation.

Read more: Venezuela's president ate steak at Salt Bae's restaurant while people in his country are starving

Last Saturday he was slammed for dancing at a concert while government forces blocked the entry of food and medicine at the borders. 

Maduro addressed his critics in his Wednesday livestream, saying: "The imperialists were mad that I was dancing. We [Venezuelans] always dance because we are a happy people and this is a revolution of joy."

The video also showed images of pro-government rallies, with Maduro saying that the majority of Venezuelans oppose international intervention.

Maduro and his allies around the world - like Russia, China, and Syria - have opposed foreign support for his opponent Juan Guaidó, who declared himself Venezuela's interim government last month.

Maduro also mocked Guaidó's slogan while discussing Carnaval plans. "We are making progress," he said, adding Guaidó's slogan: "Vamos bien."

Juan GuaidoVenezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country's rightful interim ruler speaks to the media in the area of a warehouse where humanitarian aid for Venezuela has been collected in Cucuta, Colombia, February 23, 2019.Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters

Guaidó is currently exiled in Colombia, and has met with US Vice President Mike Pence and the Lima Group, a regional bloc established to end the Venezuelan crisis.

Guaidó told his supporters via video on Tuesday that he is currently planning his return to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas to mobilize his supporters. The exact date of his arrival and next steps will be made public in the coming days, he added.

He said he refuses "this compromise of having to fight from abroad," referring to Colombia, and said that Maduro is "alone and desperate." 

Guaidó also posted an audio message, urging his supporters to keep mobilizing and and announcing unspecified actions to garner support from military and government workers.

Though military leaders in Venezuela publicly backed Maduro last month, Guaidó has claimed that he had met some members of the military in secret.

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