Update (7:16 am ET): Here we go again...
Now that the monthslong simmering rebellion against Maduro has exploded into a full-fledged uprising - one that's in danger of being brutally suppressed by the Maduro regime - it's time for the US to revive its threats of military intervention with the added subtext of 'this time, we mean it'.
After footage from yesterday's riots showed regime tanks brutally crushing opposition supporters, Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox Business this morning and said that the US hasn't ruled out military intervention.
His comments come as supporters of the regime and opposition prepare to take to the streets for another wave of massive demonstrations on Wednesday.
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Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido has called for a second day of street protests on Wednesday, but after the Venezuelan government successfully beat back the Guaido-led "popular uprising" - as the vast majority of Venezuela's military remained loyal to Nicolas Maduro - it's looks like the Russia- and China-backed socialist regime has resisted this latest challenge to its rule.
The coup attempt was hardly bloodless - there were horrifying incidences of extreme violence - but for all the jawboning from President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NSA John Bolton, it appears Guaido's most prolific attempt yet to force Maduro from power was a spectacular failure. Some members of the military defected, but Maduro by and large retained control over the military and other levers of power. Presenting a surprising lack of confidence in Guaido, opposition supporters celebrated the release of Leopoldo Lopez from house arrest, the former opposition leader immediately sought refuge in the Chilean embassy.
Late on Tuesday, Maduro took to twitter to thank the supporters of his regime who took to the streets to help suppress the rebellion, and the leaders who stood up for the Bolivarian revolution.
Agradezco a todo el pueblo venezolano, su valentía, coraje y conciencia frente a este intento de golpe de Estado frustrado. Han demostrado que un pueblo movilizado es garantía de tranquilidad para la Patria. ¡Venezuela es Territorio de Paz e Independencia! pic.twitter.com/CjOhzxpjH4— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 1, 2019
Saludo a los líderes, lideresas, gobiernos, movimientos sociales e intelectuales del mundo por sus pronunciamientos, muestras de solidaridad y apoyo a la Constitución, a la democracia y al Gobierno Bolivariano que presido. ¡El Pueblo de Venezuela les Agradece! pic.twitter.com/XAnRvUABJa— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 1, 2019
Flanked by military leaders, Maduro delivered a speech where he demanded that all opposition supporters who participated in the day's violent skirmishes must be identified and arrested, and he bragged that the military base at La Carlota resisted a takeover attempt.
In honor of May Day, widely celebrated as International Workers Day, Maduro called for supporters to take to the streets for a 'millions-strong march'.
"Tomorrow, the first of May, we will have a large, millions-strong march of the working class," Maduro said in a Tuesday "We have been confronting different types of aggression and attempted coups never before seen in our history."
Forming an unusual alliance, it appears CNN has joined the Trump administration in spreading disinformation about the events in Venezuela to try and destabilize the regime.
CNN uses picture of pro-Guaido soldiers shooting (note the blue armbands) as proof of Maduro government "mowing down" its own citizens. Standard. https://t.co/kpwwCKI2oP— Alan MacLeod (@AlanRMacLeod) May 1, 2019
Still, Guaido hasn't given up yet, calling for his "Operation Liberty" to continue on Wednesday, he asked opposition supporters to take to the streets for the 'largest march in history' (though, after seeing footage of opposition supporters being crushed by a tank on Tuesday, we imagine that some might have second thoughts).
Mañana continuamos con la ejecución de la #OperaciónLibertad. Iniciamos la fase final y estaremos de forma sostenida en las calles hasta lograr el cese de la usurpación.— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) May 1, 2019
¡Vamos con todo, con más fuerza y determinación!#ConTodoPaLaCalle https://t.co/ep1vC824j6
Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign ministry has said Pompeo's claim that Moscow had convinced Maduro to resist the coup and cling to power was "fake news".
Pompeo said Tuesday that Maduro had intended to step down, but Russia had convinced him to stay. "Washington tried its best to demoralise the Venezuelan army and now [has] used fakes as a part of an information war," Moscow spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told CNN on Wednesday.
As Venezuelans prepare for a second day of unrest, the number of dead and wounded in Tuesday's clashes hasn't yet been reported.
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