Venezuelans Revolt Against Socialist Maduro – Soldiers Clash in Streets

Venezuelans Revolt Against Socialist Maduro – Soldiers Clash in the Streets in Gripping Video

“Democracy cannot be defeated.”

Soldiers joined protestors in the streets of Caracas Tuesday in a bid to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government – and the world watched on social media.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó had earlier appeared at a military base in the heart of the capital and declared the start of Operation Liberty. Flanked by soldiers, he promised the military would side with the people in an uprising against “the dictator” Maduro.

“Today, brave soldiers, brave patriots, brave men attached to the Constitution have followed our call,” Guaidó said in a video from Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda Air Base and posted to social media. “The definitive end of the usurpation starts today.”

Maduro did not appear in public, but he declared in a tweet: “Nerves of Steel!” He said the military leaders had “expressed their total loyalty” and called for “maximum popular mobilization to ensure the victory of peace.”

“We Will win!” he said.

Twitter videos appeared to show military forces alternatively clashing with anti-government forces and turning against the government.

A National Guard armored vehicle is seen in one clip reportedly running over unarmed protestors in Caracas.


But in the town of Puerto Ordaz, similar APCs appear to turn away from protestors, who cheer in response.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., tweeted a clip of what he said was a showdown between rival military factions on a Caracas highway.

Another video purports to show a soldier who defected from Maduro pledging his life to Guaidó.

Guaidó last month rejected Maduro’s January reelection as illegitimate – a judgement affirmed by international observers – and made himself the interim president of Venezuela with the support of the National Assembly. Dozens of countries have recognized his claim to power, including the United States and most South American and European nations.

On Tuesday, Brazil’s socialism-hating President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted his support for Guaido and “the freedom of Venezuelans.”

U.S. Secretary of State said in a tweet that the United States “fully supports” the attempted coup, which he called a “quest for freedom and democracy.”

“Democracy cannot be defeated,” he added.

National Security Adviser John Bolton earlier posted a similar message, prompting Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza to reply that the Trump administration should keep its “hands off Venezuela.”

Elected in 2013, Maduro has presided over years of economic decline. In February, his government turned away much-needed foreign aid, saying it would reroute food and supply shipments to Colombia instead. Last month, a power outage left more than 70 percent of the country without electricity at one point, and rolling power outages plagued the country for days.

At the same time, the United States withdrew its remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Caracas, and slapped sanctions on members of Maduro’s government.

In joint speech with Bolsonaro at the White House days later, President Donald Trump warned, “The last thing we want in the United States is socialism,” an apparent jab at the resurgence of the ideology among Democrats.

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