Juan Guadió has called upon all Armed Forces to join the fight against Nicolás Maduro and violence is escalating in the streets.
Juan Guaidó, Venezuelan opposition leader, launched a video on Tuesday morning where he appears flanked by Venezuelan soldiers, making a call for all Armed Forces to join his coup against President Nicolás Maduro. As it happens with many uprising, successful or not, chaos usually ensued in Venezuela. Maduro claims to have retained "total loyalty" of military leaders, but has not publicly appeared.
Guaidó, on the other hand, has appeared in different parts of Caracas, rallying Venezuelans to join his fight. Guaidó has been speaking to crowds about having managed to get a hold of the Armed Forces. It's still unclear as to what the United States role in the uprising has been. John Bolton, the National security advisor said a handful of Maduro aids knew of the coup ahead and this planned and prepared for the transition, but social media has been filled with images of escalating violence, including a tank running over protestors.
Good morning, Venezuela. As you know, our struggle has always been framed within our Constitution, within a non-violent fight, within working for one another, saving lives, working for the most vulnerable ones, attending to our families, in building abilities always within the frame of our Constitution. In this process we said: "When the people find themselves in the streets, we shall assume our competence, when the International Community broadly backs our struggle we shall be with the Venezuelan people. At this very moment, we call upon public employees, as well as a crucial component (not just for the transition but for the reconstruction of Venezuela, to take National sovereignty back): our Armed Forces. Today, brave soldiers, brave countrymen, brave men who are led by the Constitution have answered our call. (...) Operation Liberty, as well as Aid and Liberty Committees, I welcome you to activate immediately, I welcome you to fill the streets of Venezuela. (...) Today, as president in charge of Venezuela, the legitimate Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, I summon every soldier, every part of the military family to join us in this feat.
Another opposition leader, Leopoldo López who had been on house arrest for accusations of inciting violence has been released by rebel armed forces. President Nicolás Maduro has responded in a tweet by saying the forces he has talked to remain loyal to him. However, images on social media have shown civil unrest and several members of the National Guard repelling pro-Maduro forces.
While world leaders have been quick to either support or condemn Guaidó's challenge, there is an ongoing fear that Trump might choose to military intervene in the region.
Juan Guaidó officially proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela on January 23, 2019 and has since led a movement to oust Nicolás Maduro. Some have accused him of conspiring with the United States to put in place a government more friendly to the Trump Administration's interests, while others celebrate a possible end to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.