Poor of Venezuelan capital revolt against Maduro

April FrancisJan 25, 2019

Maduro, a socialist, was sworn in to a second six year term January 10 amid criticism from his domestic opponents and worldwide bodies such as the European Union, Organization of American States and the United States.

"As you make your voices heard tomorrow, on behalf of the American people, we say to all the good people of Venezuela: estamos con ustedes", Pence said, following up with the translation in English.

"You asked to take to the streets to defend the constitution, well here we are", he said in a video shot at night in which several heavily armed men and a national guard truck can be seen in the background.

Guaido has re-energized the nation's opposition movement and is calling for mass protests across the country Wednesday.

The opposition-controlled congress's head, Juan Guaido, said the uprising was a sign of the armed forces' depressed state of mind.

The protests have been called to coincide with a historic date for Venezuelans - the anniversary of the 1958 coup that overthrew military dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez.

In this January 11, 2019 photo, Juan Guaido, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly delivers a speech during a public session with opposition members, at a street in Caracas, Venezuela.

The uprising triggered protests in the same neighborhood that were dispersed with tear gas. "We will win", he added, without specifying who allegedly made the offer.

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning backing from Washington and parts of Latin America and prompting socialist Nicolas Maduro, the country's leader since 2013, to break relations with the United States.

The ministry said "a small group" of National Guard members had taken four hostages and stolen weapons from an outpost in Caracas' Cotiza neighborhood during a pre-dawn action.

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Maduro, who lacks the military pedigree of his mentor and predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, has sought to shore up support from the armed forces by doling out key posts to top generals, including heading the PDVSA oil monopoly that is the source of virtually all of Venezuela's export earnings.

"With absolute respect for human rights. but with the strength and firmness. our Bolivarian National Armed Forces respond to attacks against the Fatherland. wherever they come from", tweeted Diosdado Cabello, president of the pro-government Constituent Assembly.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the protestors before moving in to arrest the rogue troops.

Maduro already declared the National Assembly illegitimate in 2017, and created a new legislature - the Constituent National Assembly - to replace it, where all seats are now held by pro-Maduro parties.

"We're hungry. Look how skinny I am: there's no food in my house", said another protester holding a petrol bomb, who declined to give his name "We have to get rid of Maduro".

Venezuela on Tuesday slammed U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for supporting the country's opposition.

Venezuela's vice president has accused her United States counterpart of "openly calling for a coup d'etat" ahead of Wednesday's mass street protest.

Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino issued a statement shortly afterwards saying the soldiers had been arrested.

In 2016 he lost control of the National Assembly, enabling the opposition to challenge his leadership, but the loyalist-dominated Supreme Court stripped the legislature of its powers in 2017.

He's never won the presidency in a free and fair election.

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