Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez announced government security forces had successfully thwarted an attempted coup early on Tuesday.
Rebel soldiers were followed as part of a covert army intelligence operation as they entered the main thoroughfare of Altamira, in an effort to take over the La Carlota military base in the capital Caracas, Padrino said, adding that the scale of the rebellion was “very small” and “insignificant.”
Flanked by high-ranking members of the army at the Caracas Battalion, Padrino said some 80 percent of the rebel troops that got as far as Altamira “were tricked … through clumsy manipulation” and most have already returned to their units.
“Tell the people of Venezuela and the whole world that this violent action, which undermines the peace, the tranquility of the citizenry, has been defeated,” said Padrino.
The minister said that the coup was directed from Washington “with the intention to shed blood in the streets of Caracas.”
Opposition leader and self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaido announced that a coup was underway earlier Tuesday, releasing video footage of himself, accompanied by a group of soldiers who had presumably turned against the government, near the La Carlota base.
Venezuela’s US-backed far right refused to recognize Maduro’s win in presidential elections in May 2017.