Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro on Tuesday accused Washington of ordering a coup against his government and called for a “total revision” of ties with the U.S. The claims came the day before a mass street protest announced by the Opposition, and one day after a mutiny by some soldiers.
Mr. Maduro was specifically reacting to comments by U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, who posted a video on Twitter branding Mr. Maduro “a dictator with no legitimate claim to power.” Referring to Wednesday’s planned Opposition rally, Mr. Pence added: “As the good people of Venezuela make your voices heard tomorrow, on behalf of the American people, we say: estamos con ustedes. We are with you.”
Mr. Maduro responded during a broadcast that “what the government of the United States did through Vice President Mike Pence, was to give orders to carry out a coup from the fascist state…” He ordered Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza to begin “a total revision of relations” with Washington, which has sanctioned top Venezuelan regime figures.
27 soldiers arrested
The Venezuelan government’s rhetoric intensified the day after a group of soldiers rose up against Mr. Maduro at a command post in the north of Caracas. They published a video on social media calling for the public to support them. But they surrendered after police and military units surrounded the post, and 27 soldiers were arrested.
Their voices were heard, though, according to the non-governmental Social Conflict Observatory, which said on Tuesday that anti-Maduro protests were recorded in at least 30 locations around Caracas.
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