Clashes Erupt After US-Backed Guaido Calls for Military Uprising in Venezuela

Clashes Erupt After US-Backed Guaido Calls for Military Uprising in Venezuela

Clashes Erupt After US-Backed Guaido Calls for Military Uprising in Venezuela

Washington has imposed sanctions to try to dislodge Mr Maduro, who is clinging to power thanks to his loyal senior military officers.

Maduro loyalists fired tear gas at demonstrators outside a military base.

"If we have to use weapons, we will use them", Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said in a televised national address, in an apparent warning to the crowds flocking to the palace.

As Lopez spoke, there were sporadic efforts with tear gas to break up the protesters who gathered on a highway overpass in wealthier eastern Caracas.

Venezuela's Government said it was putting down the small coup attempt by military "traitors" working with right-wing opponents.

Other American officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security advisor John Bolton expressed their support for Guaido on Twitter. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., again voiced support for the opposition and its stated push for democracy.

In the three-minute video shot early on Tuesday, Guaido, the self-declared president and leader of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly, said the "final phase" had begun to end Maduro's "usurpation" of the constitution.

Guaido started the day's events when he appeared in an early morning video that showed him surrounded by heavily-armed soldiers outside a Caracas air base. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

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The White House said it was "watching and waiting" on the situation in Venezuela and hoping the result would be democracy.

"We denounce before the worldwide community the support of the Colombian government for this new attempt at a coup d'etat in Venezuela".

The U.S. views Maduro's re-election past year as illegitimate, with President Donald Trump calling the election a "sham".

The U.S. has been embarrassed by acting too soon in the past.

Venezuela's opposition leader and self proclaimed president Juan Guaido.

Venezuela's government announced on Monday two marches to counter protests Guaido have been planned. Despite Guiadó's calls for a military uprising, and Maduro's denunciation of the "coup" attempt, it's also not clear how much military-backing the protesters are receiving.

"It's now or never", said a recently defected soldier.

The U.S. government said about 20,000 Cuban troops and agents have been working in Venezuela to prop up Maduro's government, a figure disputed by Cuba. "But it is always worth it".

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