Venezuela's Guaido in video calls for military uprising

Venezuela's embattled President Nicolas Maduro has claimed his troops have defeated a "coup" attempt amid calls by opposition leader Juan Guaido for protestors to return to the streets Wednesday.

"They are leading this coup and giving orders to this man (Juan) Guaido", he said.

The military has generally supported Mr Maduro in the stand-off with Mr Guaido.

"All agreed that Maduro had to go". We support a peaceful democratic process in Venezuela.

The United States and 50 other mostly Western countries have recognised Guaido while Russia, China, Turkey and Cuba back Maduro. He was surrounded by individuals in military uniforms and opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez.

"Today, courageous soldiers, fearless patriots, courageous men loyal to the Constitution have followed our call", said Mr Guaido, who is also president of the country's National Assembly.

Although the young opposition leader was accompanied at a rally in Caracas on Tuesday by several dozen armed troops, it did not immediately appear that he had won much support from the country's 200,000-strong armed forces, and 25 of the soldiers with him later sought refuge in the Brazilian embassy.

Venezuelan soldiers carry an ammunition box at La Carlota base, in eastern Caracas. There were also reports that 25 troops who had been with Guaido fled to Brazil's diplomatic mission. One showed Maduro soldiers in an armored vehicle running over protesters. Rioters later blocked the highway with a bus and set it on fire.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino on Twitter rejected what he called an attempt by a "subversive movement" to generate "panic and terror".

He later said an army colonel had received a bullet wound to the neck during the clashes in Caracas.

Of the injured, 42 were wounded with rubber bullets and two were treated for gunshot wounds.

Elsewhere, human rights NGO Provea denounced the death of a demonstrator in northern Aragua state. "The U.S. must stand with the National Assembly & Guaidó in their efforts to restore democracy through legitimate, internationally monitored elections".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN he believed Maduro was ready to flee to ally Cuba before he was dissuaded by Russian Federation - a claimed Maduro later refuted.

"I must say, there will be another sunrise tomorrow".

Trump also threatened a "full and complete embargo" and sanctions on Cuba if its troops did not cease operations in Venezuela after US national security adviser John Bolton alleged that Cuban troops were keeping Maduro in power.

The US Federal Aviation Administration gave US air operators 48 hours to depart Venezuela by "the most expeditious possible route".

First to be removed was CNN International, followed by BBC Mundo, Venezuelans said on social media.

Internet observatory NetBlocks reported that "multiple internet services" were restricted in Venezuela following Guaido's appeal.

The Lima Group of mostly Latin American countries announced an emergency meeting in Lima on Friday to discuss the crisis.

Most European Union member states recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim president. He said Maduro had been fraudulently re-elected past year.

The U.S. and about 50 other nations take the position that Maduro's re-election a year ago was irrevocably marred by fraud and he is not the legitimate president of Venezuela, a once prosperous nation that has the world's largest proven oil reserves.

Maduro's socialist regime has presided over economic devastation in Venezuela, where citizens are beset by rising prices and food and medical shortages.

  • Jon Douglas