The growing focus on the poor sounds familiar to many who have seen similar policies implemented by the socialist leaders that the opposition has been struggling for years to unseat from power.

During his 14 years in office, the late President Hugo Chavez launched numerous programs aimed at providing free medical care and social services to Venezuela’s neediest, while Maduro regularly touts initiatives to provide subsidized food and housing.

Capriles denies that outreach efforts resemble the same populism pushed by Maduro, and says that he is simply continuing the policies he implemented as governor of the central state of Miranda from 2008 to 2017.

“I am not the ‘disconnected politician,’” he said. “I never have been one, and I have never been isolated from the reality of the people I serve.”

But the opposition has found that making fiery speeches has been inefficient on its own to foster support among the Venezuelan electorate.

Opposition parties suffered bruising defeats in this year’s gubernatorial and mayoral elections, leaving members divided over how to move forward ahead of next year’s presidential race.

They have yet to rally behind a candidate to challenge Maduro, who is expected to seek a second six-year term.

Even so, some political analysts are skeptical the latest goodwill strategy is enough to change the status quo.

John Magdaleno, director of local consultancy POLITY, praised the initiatives as well-intended but said they fall short of overcoming a deeper crisis.

“Until the opposition’s political leadership can agree, the chances that we will begin a transition to democracy are minimal,” Magdaleno said.

Flores, the opposition politician and physician, said politicians are trying to pull people out of their “catatonic state” and urge them to reclaim their rights.

“There are solutions for building a better country,” he said. “All these grains of sand add up and help alleviate this misery, this need for food, for medicine, and give support.”