The actions against Maduro took place as U.S. officials sought to undermine him. In a video, Vice President Pence on Tuesday called Maduro a “dictator with no legitimate claim to power” and backed the opposition protests as “a call for freedom.” Coming on the heels of a series of U.S. sanctions, the move prompted Maduro late Tuesday to order a “revision” of diplomatic ties with the United States.

The freshly re-energized Venezuelan opposition, meanwhile, faced a vital test on Wednesday in its effort to unseat Maduro, who was sworn in this month for a new six-year term after elections that were internationally condemned as a fraudulent power grab.

As people started to gather on a rainy Caracas morning, protests in some areas were being dispersed by security forces with tear gas. In eastern Caracas, people yelled: “Who are we? Venezuela. What do we want? Freedom.”