Photos From Venezuela: A Protest Turns Violent
Protesters intent on driving out Venezuela’s embattled president took back to the streets on Tuesday, calling upon soldiers to join them in a national uprising.
The demonstrations in Caracas, the capital, soon turned violent, as protesters and law enforcement officers loyal to President Nicolás Maduro clashed.
Tensions began building after the Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, stepped up his campaign to oust Mr. Maduro.
Mr. Guaidó, who declared himself interim president in January, showed up at a military base in the capital and, accompanied by a few soldiers, declared that “the definitive end of the usurpation starts today.”
But in the early hours of the uprising attempt, at least, the authoritarian president still seemed to have a grip on power.
Here are some photos from the scene of the protests on Tuesday.
While Mr. Guaidó did appear to have the support of at least some members of the military, others clearly remained on the side of the president. They clashed with protesters and fellow military members alike.
Mr. Maduro took to Twitter to declare that the military was on his side. Commanders, he said, had assured him of “their total loyalty to the people, to the Constitution and to the fatherland.”
A government spokesman dismissed the “small group of military traitors” who had thrown their lot in with Mr. Guaidó, and accused them of trying to stage a coup.
Mr. Guaidó has had the backing of the Trump administration since he set out to topple the Maduro government. He says he wants the country to hold free elections.
On Tuesday, Trump officials restated their support for the opposition leader, offering a chorus of praise for him on Twitter and at a news briefing.
But in the months since Mr. Guaidó has staked his claim to power, he has gained little ground.
“I believe this is very important, but I see apathy and fear in people,” one protester said.