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VIDEO: Venezuelan coup attempt underway to throw out dictator Maduro

Juan Guaido, Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president, addresses thousands of people during a protest rally against the Maduro government and announces a new dimension of pressure for a change of government in Caracas, Venezuela, on April 6, 2019. (Rafael Hernandez/DPA/Abaca Press/TNS)
April 30, 2019

A coup attempt is underway in Venezuela today as opposition leader Juan Guaido and his supporters have flooded the streets in an effort to remove socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido announced Tuesday that “the start of the end of the usurpation” would begin Tuesday, beginning what has evolved into a mass uprising in Venezuela, CNN reported.

Numerous military personnel have defected and sided with Guaido, some even vowing to defend him to the death as they join together to remove Maduro.

“The people of Venezuela initiated the end of the usurpation. At this moment I am meeting with the main military units of our Armed Forces, beginning the final phase of Operation Freedom,” Guaido tweeted.

Gunshots and tear gas have already been fired in the area where Guaido and his supporters are organizing at the La Carlota airbase.

It’s not clear where the violence originated.

Many Venezuelans were seen marching in the streets, making their way to Guaido.

Maduro was inaugurated to his second term on Jan. 10 after Venezuelans boycotted the election. The outcome sparked protests and left Venezuelans and foreign governments calling Maduro’s re-election “fraudulent.”

Guaido became head of the opposition party, and with the support of those against Maduro, Guiado asserted himself as interim president. Since then, he has created a movement to denounce Maduro and seek his removal, a move that has the support of dozens of nations.

In January, President Donald Trump officially recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence were among those who expressed support for Guaido on Tuesday.

“Today interim President Juan Guaido announced start of Operación Libertad. The U.S. Government fully supports the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy. Democracy cannot be defeated,” Pompeo tweeted.

“To @jguaido, the National Assembly and all the freedom-loving people of Venezuela who are taking to the streets today in #operacionlibertad—Estamos con ustedes! We are with you! America will stand with you until freedom & democracy are restored. Vayan con dios! #FreeVenezuela,” Pence tweeted.