Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (File photo: VCG)
CARACAS, May 1 (Xinhua) -- One day after an attempted coup by the opposition movement in Venezuela, thousands of Venezuelans marched past the presidential headquarters in the capital city of Caracas to show support for Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday the International Workers' Day.
"People have mobilized today fundamentally to reject the attempted coup that Guaido and (fellow opposition leader) Leopoldo Lopez irresponsibly carried out," said Laura Franco, a lawyer who was among the participants.
The rallies were "an overwhelming demonstration that the country has a vocation and a disposition for peace," Franco told Xinhua, adding that Venezuelans like her were marching "to say that we want peace, and we want respect for Venezuela's sovereignty."
On Tuesday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who had proclaimed himself as the interim president, reportedly called on the Venezuelan people and military to take to the streets to overthrow Maduro.
In a televised address on Tuesday night, Maduro declared that the "coup" had been defeated.
Amid the ongoing power struggle between the ruling socialist party and the US-backed right-wing opposition, ordinary Venezuelans found it increasingly harder to get on with their lives.
For months, Efrain Barreto, a taxi driver in Caracas, had been suffering from the consequences of Venezuela's faltering economy.
Fares had dropped, and he could barely eke out a living to help support his unemployed daughter and two granddaughters.
"The most important thing is for all Venezuelans to respect each other and never reach the point of generalized violence," he told Xinhua.
"Once the violence spirals out of control, there is no way to stop it," he added.
In the vicinity of the city's La Hoyada Metro Station, an elderly woman was standing at a corner, one hand holding her grandson and the other a coffee thermos.
Adelina Alvarez, the street vendor, said she usually began selling coffee in downtown Caracas as early as 5:30 a.m.
A supporter of the Maduro government, Alvarez said the current government was the "only guarantee that what is going to happen in the country is what we Venezuelans decide," because "the opposition groups "obey the United States."
Alvarez said she was relieved that Tuesday's coup was limited in scope and didn't evolve into a full-blown crisis.
For Venezuelan law student Carlos Luis Lopez, the worst fear was US military intervention.
"It would worsen the situation," said Lopez.
Amid the turmoil in Venezuela, US National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed on Tuesday that "all options are on the table."
Aristides Blanco, a Venezuelan shoe repairman, did not consider himself a supporter of the Maduro government. However, he said he agreed with Maduro's calls for dialogue between the two sides to find a negotiated solution to the political stalemate.
"If everyone in Venezuela wants economic recovery, then everyone must ensure the peace. Because without peace, there won't be a recovery," said Blanco.