Uprising is underway against Nicolas Maduro but the outcome remains uncertain

Apr 30, 2019

Venezuelan authorities claimed Tuesday that they are “in the process of putting down a small coup attempt” following an earlier announcement by opposition leader Juan Guaidó that he and his supporters were in the “final phase” of ending Nicolás Maduro’s presidency.

In social media broadcast Tuesday morning, Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaidó claimed the military has joined him to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Before daybreak Tuesday, Guaidó appeared in a video outside a military base in Caracas surrounded by men he claimed were members of the Venezuelan military. In the video, posted on Twitter, Guaidó is standing next to another opposition leader, Leopoldo López, who had been under house arrest since 2014 for inciting violence during anti-government protests. López said he was freed by guards who are joining the uprising.

During the day, thousands of protesters faced off against police and military personnel loyal to Maduro at various locations throughout Caracas. Images showed tear gas canisters being thrown by both sides. Some reports claimed that shots had been fired. As of 6 p.m. on Tuesday an estimated 72 people had been injured during clashes, according to the government news office.

Guaidó, who declared himself interim president in January, is claiming that a “large percentage” of the Venezuelan military has joined his cause. Venezuelan state media, however, said that defections were limited to a “tiny band of traitors” and several foreign news agencies, including the BBC and Reuters, report that the majority of the military appears to remain loyal to Maduro.

In a sign that the uprising may not be going well for the opposition, the Chilean embassy reports that López, his wife Lilian Tintori and daughter, are sheltering there and have asked for political asylum.

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An hour later, 25 low-ranking Venezuelan army officers entered the Brazilian embassy and asked for asylum.

Following Guaidó’s early morning Tweets, the Venezuelan government suspended internet service throughout the country.

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