Gunshots were heard at a rally led by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido outside a Caracas air base, Reuters witnesses said, after Guaido said earlier that troops had joined him to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
Witnesses said men in military uniform, who were accompanying Guaido at the scene, were exchanging fire with soldiers acting in support of Maduro. The witnesses said the shots appeared to be live rounds.
Footage shows tear-gas canisters being fired near the Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda, or ‘La Carlota’, air force base. One witness told Reuters that the gas is being fired towards Guaido, who appears to have gathered about 70 men in military uniform.
Guaido, the self-declared interim president, released a video on Tuesday morning appealing to the Venezuelan military to take part in a coup. The footage was apparently shot at a Caracas airbase and followed an earlier tweet from Guaido, in which he claimed to be meeting with “key military units” for what he described as “the beginning of the final phase of Operation Freedom.”
In a series of tweets, Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that government forces are “currently confronting… a small group of military traitors” who sought to “promote a coup against the constitution and peace of the republic.” He urged Venezuelans to remain on “high alert” and support efforts to defeat the attempted coup.