In an act described by the Venezuelan government as a small coup attempt, self-declared “President” of Venezuela Juan Guaidó appeared in a video alongside uniformed men who he claimed were a number of military defectors, declaring this as the “final phase” of Nicolás Maduro’s presidency.
The Venezuelan military generals and the vast majority of the military have pledged their loyalty to Maduro, who urged them to have nerves of steel.
The counter-revolutionary “activist” backed by the US State Department Leopoldo Lopez was among the instigators of this “final phase” coup. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza claims that the U.S. likely paid a guard to let him out of house arrest to join the coup.
Arreaza assured the public that this coup attempt will be contained and thousands of pro-Maduro protesters have taken to the streets and have surrounded the presidential palace.
The government of Mexico has expressed concern over possible bloodshed, as live rounds were being used as well as tear gas. Mexico has not recognized Guaidó as the leader of Venezuela, but has offered to broker a peace process.
Bolivian President Evo Morales has expressed his disdain for the coup attempt. He released a statement via twitter: “We strongly condemn the coup attempt in Venezuela performed by the right wing, which is submissive to foreign interests. [We are] confident that the courageous Bolivarian Revolution headed by brother Nicolas Maduro, will prevail against this new attack by the empire.”