US

The Latest: Venezuelans gear up for opposition march

  • A demonstrator throws stones during anti-government protests in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Tens of thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro flooded the streets of Caracas in what's been dubbed the "mother of all marches" against the embattled president. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    A demonstrator throws stones during anti-government protests in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Tens of thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro flooded the streets of Caracas in what's been dubbed the "mother of all marches" against the embattled president. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

  • Anti-government protesters march with a banner that reads in Spanish "Freedom without fear" along a highway in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Tens of thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro flooded the streets of Caracas in what's been dubbed the "mother of all marches" against the embattled president. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Anti-government protesters march with a banner that reads in Spanish "Freedom without fear" along a highway in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Tens of thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro flooded the streets of Caracas in what's been dubbed the "mother of all marches" against the embattled president. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on opposition and pro-government marches in Venezuela. (all times local):

__

10:40 a.m.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez says foreigners shouldn't meddle in Venezuela's internal affairs.

Rodriguez spoke Wednesday during a visit to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, referring to dueling opposition and pro-government marches being held the same day in the South American country.

The Cuban official notes that Venezuela is a sovereign state with a democratically elected government.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused the U.S. State Department of encouraging Venezuelan opponents to attempting a government overthrow. American officials have rejected such charges in the past.

__

10:30 a.m.

Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro have called on Venezuelans to take to the streets for what they've dubbed the "mother of all marches" against the embattled socialist leader.

Demonstrators are converging from 26 different points spread across the capital to attempt to march downtown to the Ombudsman's office. It's a route tens of thousands of angry protesters have attempted a half-dozen times in the past few weeks only to find their progress blocked by light-armored vehicles and a curtain of tear gas and rubber bullets fired by riot police officers.

At least five deaths have been blamed on the strong-armed response to protests that were triggered by the government-stacked Supreme Court's decision three weeks ago to strip the opposition-controlled congress of its last remaining powers.