Maduro and Guaido speak after chaos in Caracas

Demonstrators clashed with police on the streets of the Venezuelan capital Tuesday, spurred by opposition leader Juan Guaido's call on the military to rise up against President Nicolas Maduro - who said he had defeated an attempted coup.

At stake for Moscow is proxy control of the world's largest oil reserves, billions of dollars in investments and loans it has given to the Maduro government, and a key foothold in America's back yard from which to project power in the region.

"The self-proclaimed, Juan Guaido, and Leopoldo López personally led the coup d'état", Maduro said.

Guaido's choice of International Workers' Day for the major protest came as he tried to win the support of union leaders, a traditional base that have always shown support for Maduro and his socialist party.

Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called the events a "coup attempt", while Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said they amounted to a challenge to the country's constitutional order.

Also, who would we be shipping arms and equipment to?

In a video message to supporters, he said Maduro no longer has the support of Venezuela's armed forces.

The repayments on these weapons will nearly certainly be lost if Guaido takes power, while any future weapons orders will likely be taken over by America.

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The United States has had "many, many conversations that have given us every indication that the fact that Maduro's plane was parked on the tarmac and he was preparing himself to depart is a fact", he said.

Brazil said later a number of Venezuelan troops had sought asylum at its Caracas embassy.

The thwarted uprising started in the early morning hours when renegade military and intelligence officers reportedly released Lopez from house arrest.

Several of the vehicles ran into the crowd, injuring some of the protesters.

Venezuela's Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino appeared on television surrounded by soldiers, asserting their support for Mr Maduro as protesters demanded he step down.

"What was going to happen, we were told, was that they would announce their support for the constitution", he told reporters at the State Department.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was ready to leave his troubled country for exile in Cuba but was persuaded by Russian Federation to remain.

Later, a group of security forces on motorcycles dropped tear gas to clear the bridge, prompting an exchange of what appeared to be gunfire. Military action is possible.

Germany is one of 54 countries to recognize Guaido's role as interim president and called for new elections, but it has not declared Maduro's presidency invalid.

Elsewhere, Spain's socialist caretaker government urged restraint, while the governments of Cuba and Bolivia reiterated their support for Maduro.

The Monroe doctrine is a 19th century U.S. policy opposing interference in the western hemisphere by European powers, which later was invoked to justify USA intervention in Latin America.

  • Jon Douglas