The Americas

The Latest: Protesters gather in Venezuelan capital

  • University students protest against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Venezuela's standoff deepened after congress voted to open a political trial against Maduro for breaking the constitutional order and opposition leaders called for mass demonstrations on Wednesday to drive the socialist leader from office.  (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)

    University students protest against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Venezuela's standoff deepened after congress voted to open a political trial against Maduro for breaking the constitutional order and opposition leaders called for mass demonstrations on Wednesday to drive the socialist leader from office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)  (The Associated Press)

  • People sit on a wall draped by a Venezuelan national flag during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Venezuela's standoff deepened after congress voted to open a political trial against Maduro for breaking the constitutional order and opposition leaders called for mass demonstrations on Wednesday to drive the socialist leader from office.  (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)

    People sit on a wall draped by a Venezuelan national flag during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Venezuela's standoff deepened after congress voted to open a political trial against Maduro for breaking the constitutional order and opposition leaders called for mass demonstrations on Wednesday to drive the socialist leader from office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)  (The Associated Press)

  • A mass of people take a highway during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Venezuela's standoff deepened after congress voted to open a political trial against Maduro for breaking the constitutional order and opposition leaders called for mass demonstrations on Wednesday to drive the leader from office. Opposition figures say turnout is expected to rival a Sept. 1 rally that drew hundreds of thousands into the street to demand that a recall campaign against President Nicolas Maduro be allowed to proceed. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    A mass of people take a highway during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Venezuela's standoff deepened after congress voted to open a political trial against Maduro for breaking the constitutional order and opposition leaders called for mass demonstrations on Wednesday to drive the leader from office. Opposition figures say turnout is expected to rival a Sept. 1 rally that drew hundreds of thousands into the street to demand that a recall campaign against President Nicolas Maduro be allowed to proceed. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on Venezuela's political crisis (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Masses of Venezuelans are donning white and taking to the streets to demand the end of the socialist administration that opposition leaders say has become a dictatorship.

Some schools and shops are shut in Caracas and ahead of an expected major rally in the capital. Opposition figures say turnout is expected to rival a Sept. 1 rally that drew hundreds of thousands into the street to demand that a recall campaign against President Nicolas Maduro be allowed to proceed.

Authorities suspended that recall effort last week, citing allegations of fraud in early stages of signature gathering. That effectively ended the opposition's chances of ousting Maduro through democratic means, and has led to an escalating political crisis.

On Tuesday, the opposition-controlled congress opened a political trial against Maduro for breaking the constitutional order.