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    Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido addresses supporters during a meeting at Chacao neighbourhood in Caracas on April 19, 2019.

    Analyst: Attempted Guaido Coup Was to Serve as Excuse to Justify US Intervention

    © AFP 2019 / Yuri Cortez
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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday that an attempted coup by opposition leader Juan Guaido has been defeated. In a televised address, Maduro said that Guaido's plans have failed and he did not have the backing of the military; he also called the opposition supporters a "small group that tried to fill the country with violence”.

    In the morning on April 30, the self-proclaimed interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, distributed a video on social media in which, accompanied by opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez and a group of soldiers, he called on the people of Venezuela to mobilise against the Maduro government and "regain freedom" by joining him for the final phase of "Operation Liberty". (Operación Libertad).

    The video was recorded at La Carlota military base, in the east of Caracas and led to a day of violence across Venezuela as supporters of the Maduro regime clashed with anti-government protesters led by Guaido. Around 70 people were injured in the clashes.

    Who Is Leopoldo Lopez?

    The appearance on Tuesday of opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez marked his release from house arrest, allegedly by his guards.

    Lopez was sentenced to 13 years in prison back in 2015 for his role in the 2014 anti-government protests, which was later commuted to house arrest in July 2017.

    He's also the founder of Voluntad Popular, the party that Guaido leads. He is considered to be Guaido's mentor.

    After Tuesday's protests, Lopez initially sought refuge in Chile's embassy in Caracas but later moved to the Spanish embassy together with his family.

    However, the violence may not be over just yet, as Guaido appealed to his supporters to take to the streets again on Wednesday.

    Venezuelan analyst Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein told Sputnik that the attempted coup d'état by opposition leader Juan Guaido at the Francisco de Miranda military base, also known as La Carlota, was to serve as "an excuse for military intervention by the US government".

    Mr Rodríguez Gelfenstein explained that the 30 April uprising at La Carlota airbase was "very far from the Government Palace" and did not receive much support from the people or the military.

    He even noted that "many servicemen refused to participate because they believed they had been deceived" in order to get them to take part in the uprising staged near La Carlota by Guaido and opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez, who left his home despite being under house arrest.

    The Venezuelan analyst said that "30 soldiers supporting Guaido do not compare to the 335,000 servicemen and 2 million militiamen" that make up Venezuela's armed forces.

    Gelfenstein added that the attempt to overthrow the government of Nicholas Maduro would "obviously" not succeed, but warned of the real goal behind this diversion.

    "What is happening is a provocation with the aim of generating a harsh response from the security forces in Venezuela, which could then serve as a justification for a military intervention by the US government," the analyst said.

    READ MORE: 'Nerves of Steel': Nicholas Maduro Urges Venezuelans to Say 'No' to US Meddling

    He recalled that Venezuela "is under threat from Trump and (US Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo, and if something happens to Guaido, they will intervene," while also noting that the Maduro government should act "with great tact, great patience, and ability to manoeuvre, but be firm".

    At the same time, Gelfenstein stressed the importance that Maduro's government relies on the "mobilisation of the people" around the government palace (Palacio de Miraflores) to avoid a coup d'état.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    coup d'etat, action, military, Juan Guaido, United States, Venezuela
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