Venezuela: Attempted coup to oust socialist dictator underway
Heavy gunfire broke out on the streets of Venezuela today after Juan Guaido called for a military uprising to oust socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro.
The opposition leader, who is backed by the US and most Western governments, appeared in a video with uniformed men outside an air force base in the capital Caracas, saying he had military support.
Guaido urged protesters and members of the military to join what the ‘final phase of Operation Liberty’.
The troops then fanned out to set up defensive positions around the base before Maduro’s forces arrived and opened fire with teargas followed by live rounds, according to witnesses.
Guiado has been trying to oust Maduro for months using largely non-violent protests.
So far, the military, and in particular the higher ranks, have repeatedly pledged their loyalty to the socialist dictator.
Maduro defiantly tweeted: “Nerves of steel. I call for maximum popular mobilization to assure the victory of peace. We will win!”
Maduro said he had spoken with military leaders and they had shown him “their total loyalty”.
But in a bid to gain armed forces support, the opposition has developed an amnesty proposal that would grant amnesty to soldiers who willingly break ranks with the current government.