Protests are turning deadly throughout the country of Venezuela Wednesday following major leadership turmoil. Earlier today, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the interim president of the country. In doing so, he ousted authoritarian leader Nicolas Maduro, who had led since 2013. The Venezuela National Assembly has said that Maduro’s recent reelection was not legitimate, and thus, Guaido has a rightful path to the position. President Donald Trump concurred, recognizing Guaido as the country’s new leader, as have parts of the Venezuelan military.
Many of the people of Venezuela have joined across the country in opposition to the Maduro regime. A large portion of the citizens blames him for recent hyperinflation and food shortages. These protests, particularly in Caracas, have turned violent.
Numerous videos on Twitter show gunshot victims lying in the streets. One video from the Venezuelan Resistance, an anti-Maduro group, shows that bullets hit a young man 12 kilometers from Junquito, a district of Caracas.
[Warning: Video contains graphic content]
Venezuelan Military, Police Take Sides
Beginning two days ago, parts of the military actually began to break with Maduro. Early Monday morning, a Venezuelan national guard unit broke with Maduro, stating that they no longer recognize him as a leader. One man, Sargeant Armando Figueroa, also urged the people of Venezuela to take to the streets with him.
Not every unit of the Venezuelan military is taking a stand in support of Juan Guaido, however. Many military and security forces are actually shooting back at civilian protesters. A number of Tweets also show this occurring. One claims that the military shot at civilians in a small town for opposing the rule of Maduro.
Venezuelan broadcasting stations VPITV and NTV have reported similar findings. The latter posted a video on Twitter recording some of the protests. Though the video footage is largely unclear, the audio shows many gunshots being fired, followed by the wail of sirens. Citizens yell in the background.
Though Nicolas Maduro is losing power quickly, it is currently unclear how long unrest in Venezuela will last.
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