Clashes in Venezuela Between Opposition, Government Troops

Ann Santiago
May 1, 2019

"People of Venezuela, we will go to the streets with the armed forces to continue taking the streets until we consolidate the end of usurpation, which is already irreversible", he continued, calling for nationwide demonstrations for Wednesday.

The tumultuous events started when Guaido - who has been recognized by the USA and dozens of other nations as the legitimate interim president - appeared in an early morning video shot next to the air base a day before what he was promoting as a definitive putsch to oust Maduro. Rioters later blocked the highway with a bus and set it on fire.

Hundreds of civilians descended on the base, and were met with tear gas.

"Today is a day for all Venezuelans".

Oil prices topped $73, partly driven higher by the uncertainty in Venezuela, an OPEC member whose oil exports have been hit by US sanctions and an economic crisis.

Colombia also said it was calling an emergency meeting of the Lima Group - a grouping of major Latin American nations plus Canada focused on Venezuela.

And Vladimir Padrino, the Maduro government's defense minister, said in a tweet: "We reject this coup attempt that wants to fill the country with violence". He later said an army colonel had received a bullet wound to the neck during the clashes in Caracas.

'The national armed forces have taken the correct decision, and they count on the support of the Venezuelan people, ' Guaido said.

"It's important that we don't consider it a coup because we recognize Guaido as the legitimate leader of the country and we are watching it along with everyone else" he stressed.

The U.S. Government fully supports the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy. "Democracy can not be defeated", tweeted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But Maduro is fighting back, and footage shows an armored vehicle plowing into a crowd of pro-Guaido supporters.

Gunshots have also been heard where Mr Guaido and Mr Lopez have been gathering supporters.

Bolivian President Evo Morales "vigorously" condemned the "attempted coup in Venezuela by the right-wing that is beholden to foreign interests", saying that he was sure that "the courageous Bolivarian Revolution led by brother Nicolas Maduro will beat this new attack".

"Today courageous soldiers, fearless patriots, brave men supporting the Constitution have answered our call", Mr Guaido said in a video recorded with a small group of uniformed men, one day before a planned anti-government rally.

Repeated opposition attempts to force Maduro, a socialist, from power through huge protests and calls on the military to act have so far failed.

"Under the direction of then-President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan National Assembly in 2012 enacted the "Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law", with the explicit aim to 'disarm all citizens, '" Fox News reported.

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