Opposition leader Juan Guaidó suggests a coup is underway in Venezuela

Juan Guaido
(Image credit: Getty Images / Stringer )

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó appeared in a video online on Tuesday flanked by men in military fatigues. He was reportedly meeting with the military to discuss the "beginning of the final phase of Operation Freedom," suggesting a coup is underway in the country.

In the video, which was reportedly filmed near La Carlota, Venezuela's main military airbase, Guaidó declared "the moment is now" before the camera panned out to show a few dozen troops lined up behind Guaidó in front of armored troop carriers.

See more

Guaidó added that "the armed forces have taken the correct decision." He also called for mass, non-violent public demonstrations throughout Venezuela and encouraged those in Caracas to head to La Carlota.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

It is unclear, however, just how much military support Guaidó actually has. Isbemar Jimenez, the communications minister for embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, told CNN that the situation is under control and the military remains loyal to Maduro. Venezuela's information minister said the forces standing with Guaidó represent just a small group of "military traitors," The Guardian reports.

Guaidó has been leading the opposition movement against Maduro for months now, as the country continues to suffer from hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages, and power outages. Multiple countries have recognized him as the legitimate president of Venezuela, including the United States.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.