CARACAS – Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, has announced that a coup is underway against Nicolás Maduro. He did so in a video, shot on a military base in Caracas where he was flanked by soldiers. After the release, clashes broke out in the streets of the Venezuelan capital.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó released a video this morning from a military base, in which he claimed he was “starting the final phase of Operation Liberty.” He called upon fellow citizens and especially military men to support him in overthrowing sitting president Nicolás Maduro.
Guaidó was flanked by soldiers and Leopoldo López, another opposition leader who has been under house arrest since the protests of 2014. According to López, soldiers loyal to Guaidó freed him.
Clashes Between Citizens and Security Forces
After the call, troops loyal to Guaidó and thousands of citizens took the streets. Clashes erupted between the protesters and members of the national guard.
Tear gas was detonated near the military base where the video was shot, while protesters tried to march toward the presidential palace.
At the moment, there are still riots going on.
Nicolás Maduro in a Twitter post declared that the Venezuelan armed forces are still on his side and that the government is dealing with the attempted coup.
Various governments abroad have also commented on the situation in Venezuela. The U.S. government showed support for Guaidó and the uprising, and vice president Mike Pence said “America will stand with you until freedom and democracy are restored.”
To @jguaido, the National Assembly and all the freedom-loving people of Venezuela who are taking to the streets today in #operacionlibertad—Estamos con ustedes! We are with you! America will stand with you until freedom & democracy are restored. Vayan con dios! #FreeVenezuela— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 30, 2019
Russia, on the other side, condemned the actions taken by the Venezuelan opposition, announcing it would monitor the situation closely.
Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera, upon his return from Asia, said that “the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro has done immeasurable damage to Venezuela and the quality of life of Venezuelans (…). The dictatorship, sooner rather than later, must end”.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.