Opposition leader Juan Guaidó took a bold step to revive his movement to seize power in Venezuela, taking to the streets Tuesday to call for a military uprising that drew quick support from the Trump administration and fierce resistance from forces loyal to socialist Nicolas Maduro.
The violent street battles that erupted in parts of Caracas were the most serious challenge yet to Maduro’s rule. And while the rebellion seemed to have garnered only limited military support, at least one high-ranking official announced he was breaking with Maduro, in a setback for the embattled president.
In a Tuesday night appearance on national television, Maduro declared that the opposition had attempted to impose an “illegitimate government” with the support of the United States and neighboring Colombia. He said Venezuela had been a victim of “aggression of all kinds.”
Meanwhile, Guaidó sought to keep the momentum going at the end of the day by releasing his own video message in which he pressed Venezuelans to take to the streets again on Wednesday, as reported by AP.
The competing quests to solidify a hold on power capped a dramatic day that included a tense moment when several armored vehicles plowed into a group of anti-government demonstrators trying to storm the capital’s air base, hitting at least two protesters.