VP Pence delivers message of support for Venezuelan people protesting Maduro

Video AP

"He has never won the presidency in a free and fair election, and has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him". "The guy who claims to be president now was not elected under that constitution and under their constitution, when there's a vacancy in the presidency, the rightful president is the president of the national assembly, pending a new election", he said.

The unrest, which lasted in some places until Tuesday morning, was a small taste of what may come on Wednesday when protesters are set to mobilize behind National Assembly president Juan Guaido.

"Here is a people willing to defend this land", said Maduro, flanked by Socialist Party leaders.

Popular Will lawmaker and congress chief Juan Guaido, who was briefly detained by intelligence agents this month, has received worldwide support amid growing criticism of Maduro.

Some two dozen officers attacked a National Guard outpost in the Caracas neighbourhood of Cotiza, a km (0.6 mile) from the presidential Miraflores palace, leading to opposition demonstrations in nearby parts of Caracas.

Jorge Rodriguez said the mutinous soldiers had confessed to handing out some of the weapons they stole on Monday from a command depot to opposition activists "so they can carry out acts of violence, (cause) injuries and deaths during the protest".

While Pence says he is delivering the message on behalf of Trump and the American people, the USA president does not participate in the video.

Venezuelan opposition sympathizers had been urging Guaido to assume the presidency since Maduro was inaugurated to a second term on January 10 following a widely boycotted election past year that the United States and many other foreign governments described as a fraudulent.

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Police used tear gas to disperse some of the crowds, including in the northern Cotiza neighborhood where the group of soldiers made their stand.

Venezuelans will take to the streets on Wednesday as the opposition hopes to capitalize on several weeks of momentum and force a change in the government of President Nicolas Maduro, who has overseen economic collapse and the erosion of democracy.

Juan Guaido, president of the congress, said the incident is a sign of growing discontent within the armed forces.

Okay, okay, Mike Pence put this a little differently, calling on Venezuelans to "make your voices heard", while they "reclaim your birthright of Libertad".

It said at around 2:50 a.m. (6:50 GMT), a small group of guardsmen took captive a captain in charge of a police station in western Caracas and then moved across the capital in two military trucks to the poor neighbourhood of Petare, where they stole a cache of weapons from another outpost. "We want you out!", a group of residents chanted in the Catia...

The Trump administration has formally denounced Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro as a dictator and declared the National Assembly as the country's legitimate government. "We need your support".

The increasingly authoritarian Nicolas Maduro-led government, continuing the policies of Hugo Chavez, denies the existence of a humanitarian catastrophe, instead pointing fingers at everything from Venezuela's positioning to the sun, to opposition movements and the United States for infringing on their economic rights.

People clustered on sidewalks trying to come to terms with the damage and thinking about what might happen during Wednesday's protests.

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