Firefights in Venezuelan Capital as Military Uprising Ensues

On a highway outside a Caracas airbase, Guaido appeared with soldiers. Teargas was thrown in response to his remarks.

By Published on April 30, 2019

Several firefights have broken out in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas with opposition leader Juan Guaido calling for a military uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido’s call came Tuesday morning in a three-minute video declaring the uprising as the “final phase” of his plan to oust Maduro, according to CBS News. This comes as Guaido has turned the garrison of La Carlota air base to his cause.

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“The moment is now,” he said, referring to the moment as “Operation Liberty,” according to The Washington Post. Formerly detained activist Leopoldo Lopez also appeared in the video after being freed on Tuesday, as well as armed soldiers and armored vehicles.

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Maduro-backed military forces rammed a crowd of civilians with an armored vehicle, running over several people. The civilians had been waving and throwing sticks and rocks at the vehicles.

Security forces are using tear gas in an attempt to disperse the rebellion in parts of Caracas and in and around La Carlota while Guiado-backed military forces and Maduro-backed forces have traded gunfire.

La Carlota is situated in the heart of Caracas. Directly west is the Fuerte Tiuna military zone which stands between Guaido’s forces and the presidential palace of Miraflores. Fuerte Tiuna remains under Maduro’s control.

Protests have also been reported in Anzoátegui, Aragua, Apure, Barinas, Carabobo, Cojedes, Guárico, Lara, Mérida, Miranda, Nueva Esparta, Táchira, Trujillo and Zulia, according to reporter Chrispher Abreu.

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Both Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have tweeted their support for Guaido and Operation Libertad.

President Maduro tweeted early this morning calling the military activity a coup and said that military leaders are fully loyal to him. “Nerves of Steel!” Maduro tweeted. “I have spoken with the commanders of all the REDIs and ZODI of the country, who have expressed their total loyalty to the people, to the Constitution and to the fatherland. I call for maximum popular mobilization to ensure the victory of peace. We Will win!”

Guaido continually tweets throughout the uprising calling Venezuelans to action and praising his countrymen for their efforts.

Video footage on Twitter shows shots being fired on a key route to the La Carlota air force base in Caracas.

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“Breaking: In Venezuela — national guards arresting/attacking other national guards,” tweeted Fox Business’ Trish Regan.

“URGENT,” CRGV reporter and photographer Chrisopher Abreu tweeted, “National Guard officials who support @jguiaido neutralizing military to descend from Tanqueta on the Francisco Fajardo Caracas Highway.”

Another tweet shows photos of a commander from the National guard joining Guaido’s “Operation Freedom.”

“A soldier joins the “Operation Freedom” of John Guaidó,” NTN24 Venezuela said in a tweet, “It is the Lieutenant Ilyich Sanchez, commander of the 432 detachment of the National Guard.”

Photos of the entrance to the La Carlota air base show crowds congesting the entrance.

A thread from reporter Thomas van Linge reveals that armed forces at the airbase have switched sides to join Guaido.

Van Linge’s tweets reveal photos of Leopold Lopez after being freed by Maduro’s soldiers.

“Today, US-backed Juan Guaido has broken out opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez from house arrest and called on the military to revolt from La Carlota air base, Caracas. But these Venezuelan soldiers have a message for him and his backers in Washington,” tweeted the account Red Fish.

This is a developing story.

 

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