The day before, intelligence police were parked outside the headquarters of Venezuela's largest privately held company, Empresas Polar, the company said, and outside the home of its president, Lorenzo Mendoza, whom Maduro regularly accuses attempting to undermine his administration. In addition, the protests that do occur trigger the more intransigent parts of the government (like Cabello's faction) to push for even more crackdowns and arrests of opposition leaders.
During Sunday's talks the parties agreed to set up a number of subcommittees to address some of the country's biggest issues - the economy, human rights and the electoral agenda.
So far, the opposition has only completed the first step of the process.
Venezuela's opposition has repeatedly called for hostile global organizations, such as the Organization of American States, to intervene in the internal affairs of Venezuela. They needed 200,000 signatures, or 1 percent of the electorate, but they got 1.8 million voters to sign.
But rather than grind the country to a halt, Caracas was mostly functioning Friday, with both sides claiming victory. What was once a vast reservoir, held back by a hydroelectric dam, is now little more than a series of mud puddles.
The president and the opposition have accused each other of mounting a "coup". By law every election undergoes 14 separate audits, seven before the vote and seven after to ensure that every voter is accounted for. A representative from the Vatican will also take part, officials said.
Venezuela has one of the world's highest homicide rates and the huge number of firearms circulating on the streets is a major concern in the event of unrest, as are the activities of armed motorcycle gangs that were once loyal to the government.
The currency's slide on the widely used black market has depressed the value of the minimum wage in the oil-rich nation to around $90 a month, one of the lowest in Latin America. "I am reaching out, extending my hand to talk with the MUD", Maduro said.
On Wednesday, huge protests across the nation called for Maduro to resign. Maduro went on to call for national unity. Here people line up outside a supermarket in the poor neighborhood of Lidice, in Caracas.
The government and opposition are at loggerheads over Venezuela's dire economic problems which have led to food shortages, lack of medical supplies and regular power cuts. Please see our terms of service for more information.
The socialist government's commitment to the poorest Venezuelans is on full display in the 2017 budget that was unveiled last week. But more than 20 percent still support him.
Over 73 percent of the 2017 annual budget will go towards the state's social programs, and specifically to areas such as housing, health, education, and public works, as well as to the citizens' neighborhood organizations known as communal councils. More importantly, Maduro still has a tight grip on nearly every branch of government and institution, though support within his ruling socialist party is fraying. "People prefer that wages not rise but inflation be controlled", Oliveros said Friday.
CARACAS, Venezuela-A 12-hour nationwide strike aimed at shuttering commerce to protest an increasingly authoritarian Venezuelan government fizzled on Friday after officials threatened to expropriate businesses that participated.