Thursday, 20 June 2019

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Venezuela crisis: Maduro claims victory over 'deranged' coup attempt 

The New York Times reports that clashes between antigovernment protesters and law enforcement officers erupted in Caracas on Tuesday after the Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, appeared alongside soldiers at a military base and called for the population to rise up against the president, Nicolás Maduro.

BBC informs that Mr Guaidó, who declared himself interim president in January, called for more members of the military to help him end Mr Maduro's "usurpation" of power. But so far, the armed forces have stood by Mr Maduro - despite dozens of countries, including the UK, the US and most of Latin America, recognising Mr Guaidó as Venezuela's rightful leader.

However, photos from Caracas show some soldiers aligning themselves with Mr Guaidó's supporters. Mr Maduro's detractors hope the military will change its allegiance as resentment grows following years of hyperinflation, power cuts, food and medicine shortages.

As a result, John Bolton, the US national security adviser, said what was taking place in Venezuela was not a coup, but a legitimate leader trying to take control.

The Guardian later informed that Nicolás Maduro claimed his troops have thwarted a botched attempt to topple him masterminded by Venezuela’s “coup-mongering far right” and Donald Trump’s deranged imperialist “gang” – while on Wednesday morning the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said US military action in the country was a possibility “if required.”

But on Wednesday morning, Pompeo spoke out on Foxnews, having previously claimed that Maduro had been on the verge of fleeing to Cuba, to say that the US would prefer a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela but that he was prepared to consider military intervention to stem the turmoil.

Meanwhile Guaidó has insisted that “a peaceful rebellion,” not an attempted military coup, was under way and urged supporters to return to the streets on Wednesday to continue what he called the final stage of “Operation Freedom.” He said Venezuelans had the opportunity “to conquer their future” and pledged that the march would be the largest in the country’s history.

Prepared by Marina Muradyan

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