Explainer: Will opposition leader Guaido topple Venezuela's President Maduro?

April FrancisMay 02, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on CNN Tuesday and claimed that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was about to flee his country this morning - before Russian Federation convinced him to stay.

The president of Cuba is rejecting President Donald Trump's threat to impose more sanctions on the island nation for its supposed military and intelligence support of Venezuela's Maduro government.

But according to The Guardian, Maduro said the actions of Mr Guaido and supporters "cannot go unpunished".

"The moment is now", he said.

Guaido said he was at the Caracas airbase La Carlota.

The dramatic events began early Tuesday when Guaido, flanked by a few dozen national guardsmen and some armoured crowd-control vehicles, released a three-minute video filmed near a Caracas air base in which he urged civilians and others in the armed forces to join a final push to topple Maduro.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Tuesday called for the military to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela has been in the throes of humanitarian and economic crises amid the political deadlock between Guaido and Maduro as Washington has ramped up diplomatic and economic pressure on the Venezuelan president in a bid to get him to relinquish power, including sanctioning his state-run oil company.

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Russia, Iran, China, and Cuba are among countries supporting Maduro, who started a second term in January following a May 2018 election marred by an opposition boycott and claims of vote-rigging, leading to mass street protests.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, at a conference in California, said the USA considers Guaido, not Maduro, the legitimate leader of the country under the Venezuelan constitution. Earlier this year, the United States banned the sale of Venezuela's oil in US markets, adding more financial pressure on the country.

But in a possible sign that Maduro's inner circle could be fracturing, the head of Venezuela's secret police penned a letter breaking ranks with the embattled leader.

The Washington Post could not confirm who was driving the vehicles.

Meanwhile, Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido has called for more protests on Wednesday.

Maduro, in a late-night televised address, said, "We have been confronting different types of aggression and attempted coups never before seen in our history". "They need to be able to act this afternoon, or this evening, to help bring other military forces to the side of the interim president", Bolton said.

"That's right", Pompeo said.

The U.S. and about 50 other nations take the position that Maduro's re-election a year ago was irrevocably marred by fraud and he is not the legitimate president of Venezuela, a once prosperous nation that has the world's largest proven oil reserves.

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