United States, Miami (Intranews): From coast to coast of the country, from Los Angeles to Miami, U.S. newspapers report minute by minute on Venezuela. Here’s a summary.
The Washington Post: Maduro insisted that the military remains loyal to him. “Steel nerves,” he wrote in a tweet. “I have talked to commanders in all the regions of the country and they’ve manifested their total loyalty to the People, the Constitution, and the Homeland. I call for maximum popular mobilization to ensure the victory of peace. Maduro’s defense minister, Vladimir Padrino Lopez, said Guaido’s supporters were trying to “fill the country with violence.” “The pseudo political leaders that are heading the subversive movement have employed troops and police with war weapons in a street of the city to create terror,” he said.
USA Today: Venezuela’s socialist party leader, Diosdado Cabello, called on government supporters to gather at the presidential palace to defend Maduro from what he called a small uprising of military soldiers backed by the U.S. Gauido has staunch support from President Donald Trump’s administration in his bid to oust Maduro, and top U.S. officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, quickly voiced support for Gauido’s move to oust Maduro. «We are with you!» Pence tweeted Tuesday morning. «America will stand with you until freedom & democracy are restored. Vayan con dios! #FreeVenezuela» Venezuela experts said this was a pivotal moment for the country and could either lead to greater democracy or greater repression. «This is a sort of make or break moment,» said Cynthia J. Arnson, director of the Latin American Program at the Wilson Center. a Washington-based think tank.
Los Angeles Times: Venezuelan police used tear gas Tuesday morning to try to disperse hundreds of supporters of self-declared President Juan Guaido, who from a freeway near the main Caracas air force base called on the armed forces to abandon their support of President Nicolas Maduro. Televised coverage of the protest, which Guaido dubbed “Operation Liberty,” showed several uniformed military personnel wearing blue armbands taking part in the demonstration, which closed a principal Caracas freeway the day before nationwide May Day protests against Maduro are expected to take place.
The Boston Globe: The dramatic events began early Tuesday when Guaido, flanked by a few dozen national guardsmen and some armored vehicles, released a three-minute video filmed near a Caracas air base in which he called on civilians and others in the armed forces to join a final push to topple Maduro. In a surprise, standing alongside him was Leopoldo Lopez, his political mentor and the nation’s most-prominent opposition activist, who has largely been unseen since he was detained in 2014 for leading anti-government protests. Lopez said he had been released from house arrest by security forces adhering to an order from Guaido. ‘‘I want to tell the Venezuelan people: This is the moment to take to the streets and accompany these patriotic soldiers,’’ Lopez declared.
Chicago Tribune: The tumultuous events started when Guaido –who has been recognized by the U.S. and dozens of other nations as the legitimate interim president– appeared in an early morning video shot next to the air base a day before what he was promoting as a definitive putsch to oust Maduro. He was surrounded by heavily armed national guardsmen backed by a few armored vehicles. Far from the tense events, a few dozen people gathered in the streets downtown in support of Guaido amid conflicting reports that the city’s subway had been shut down by transit workers looking to further debilitate the government. Others said service had been interrupted by an accident. «It’s now or never,» said one of the young rebellious soldiers, his face covered in the blue bandanna preferred by the few dozen soldiers who stood alongside Guaido and Lopez.
The Miami Herald: Anti-government protesters in Venezuela were engaged in running street battles with security forces, as interim President Juan Guaido said factions of the military were supporting his high stakes push to oust Nicolás Maduro. In the opposition strongholds of eastern Caracas, armored troop carriers loyal to Maduro rammed into demonstrators armed with little more than rocks, sticks and molotov cocktails. Local TV showed one of the vehicles driving over the median and crushing a protester. Eye witnesses said forces loyal to Guaido had taken the Altamira overpass, which bisects the city, and thousands of anti-government protesters were seen swarming onto the streets amid reports of gunfire and confrontations.
Houston Chronicle: In a surprise, standing alongside him was Leopoldo Lopez, his political mentor and the nation’s most-prominent opposition activist, who has largely been unseen since he was detained in 2014 for leading anti-government protests. Lopez said he had been released from house arrest by security forces adhering to an order from Guaido. «I want to tell the Venezuelan people: This is the moment to take to the streets and accompany these patriotic soldiers,» Lopez declared. As the two allies coordinated actions from vehicles parked on a highway overpass, troops loyal to Maduro sporadically fired tear gas from inside the adjacent Carlota air base. A crowd that quickly swelled to a few thousand scurried for cover, with a smaller group of masked youths reassembling outside the air base’s gates where they lobbed rocks and other heavy objects.