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Violence Erupts In Venezuela Power Struggle

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Violence Erupts In Venezuela Power Struggle

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó and a small group of armed troops took to the streets of Caracas Tuesday in an attempt to oust socialist leader Nicolás Maduro. 

Guaidó appeared alongside a few dozen National Guard soldiers at a military base and called on the population to join them in rising up against Maduro, who has held on to power despite recognition of Guaidó by the United States and others as the country’s leader.

The New York Times reported that the clashes that erupted on the streets of the capital were between the protesters and law enforcement officers, and the degree of the military's involvement wasn't immediately clear. 

Video from Chilean television broadcaster T13 that was posted on Twitter showed protesters in the street attacking armored vehicles, and in at least one case, an armored vehicle driving into a crowd of protesters who appeared to be unarmed. 

The Times reported the rebellion seemed to have only limited military support.

Guaidó declared himself the nation’s interim leader in January.

The Trump administration signaled U.S. support for Guaidó’s move — though without elaborating on whether it might intervene. 

“Estamos con ustedes! We are with you!,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a Twitter post. "America will stand with you until freedom and democracy are restored."

John Bolton, the White House's national security adviser, said "all options are on the table," according to ABC News

U.S. military officials were cautious and said they're simply monitoring the situation. 

"We are monitoring the recent developments in Venezuela closely and are in close contact with our interagency partners and senior chain of command,” U.S. Southern Command spokesman Col. Armando Hernandez told Reuters.

“At the present time, U.S. Southern Command's mission remains unchanged." The Southern Command oversees U.S. forces and operations in Latin America.

Guaidó said on Twitter that he'd talked with allies and that he had "firm support" for the move.  He was ending his tweets on Tuesday with the hashtag, "#TodaVenezuelaALaCalle," which means "All Venezuela to the Street."

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the issue with his security council Tuesday morning, according to Russian state news agency TASS. A small group of Russian military personnel is in Venezuela.

Related Links: 

Cruise Line Stocks Fall As Trump Administration Tightens Restrictions On Cuba, Venezuela 

How The Venezuela Political Crisis Impacts The Oil Market 

Posted-In: ABC News Caracas Juan Guaido Nicolas MaduroNews Politics Media General Best of Benzinga

 

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