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These photos show just how divided Venezuela is right now
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

It was a study of contrasts in Venezuela on Wednesday, as the country prepared to celebrate its late leader Hugo Chavez amid weeks of violent protests.

Tens of thousands of Chavez supporters were expected to flood the nation's streets on the first anniversary of the socialist's death.

Workers prepped for an elaborate military parade and ceremony in Caracas. Rallies were also planned in cities big and small across the country in what some viewed as a chance for embattled President Nicolas Maduro to reclaim the streets and show opponents that he too could garner mass support.

More from GlobalPost: Thousands protest in Venezuela on the eve of Hugo Chavez's death anniversary

Some opposition leaders called for a day without protests to show respect for Chavez's memory.

But many students said they would not stop.

Leaders friendly to Chavez — Cuba's Raul Castro, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, and Bolivia's Evo Morales — flew to Caracas for the parades and celebrations.

These photos of protesters and Chavez preparations show just how divided the country is right now.

More from GlobalPost: 5 myths about the Venezuela crisis

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An opposition activist hurls a molotov cocktail at National Guard troops during a protest against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas.

(LEO RAMIREZ - AFP/Getty Images)
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A worker paints near a mural honoring Hugo Chavez at the military barracks where the former Venezuelan president is entombed.

(John Moore - AFP/Getty Images)
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Opposition demonstrators take part in a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas.

(JUAN BARRETO - AFP/Getty Images)
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A worker hags a flag outside a military barracks where Hugo Chavez is entombed.

(John Moore - AFP/Getty Images)
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Venezuelan protesters flee while chased by Venezuelan National Guard troops in Caracas.

(John Moore - AFP/Getty Images)
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A boy runs next to a mural paint depicting late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L), Jesus Christ and Latin American Independence Hero Simon Bolivar in Caracas.

(LEO RAMIREZ - AFP/Getty Images)
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The military barracks where former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is entombed stands on a hilltop overlooking the city of Caracas.

(John Moore - AFP/Getty Images)
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A demonstrator throws tear gas back to members of the National Guard during a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas.

(JUAN BARRETO - AFP/Getty Images)
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