Venezuela's uprising

8:19 a.m. ET, April 30, 2019

Armed forces do not back Maduro, Guaido says

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido told CNN Español that Maduro has lost the backing of the country's military.

“Evidently, there is no such backing of the armed forces to Maduro’s regime," he said. "Communication was blocked between civilian leaders and the democratic armed forces of Venezuela … but we have been able to pierce through that.”

“It’s great news for the entire country that the military of Venezuela’s armed forces have taken this step. They were an important part of this. This was fundamental not only for a transitioning, but to recover Venezuela’s sovereignty. Here we are next to our legislators, the military and soon with the people of Venezuela. We are determined to conquer freedom for our country,” he said. 

Regarding Venezuelan opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez, Guaido said: “We have decreed amnesty and the release for jailed politicians. This is the beginning of the [release] of political leaders and military personnel.”

11:47 a.m. ET, April 30, 2019

What's different about Guaido's announcement?

There are a few things that are different about Juan Guaido's video announcement today, which make it stand out from the sine wave of protest and repression of the past four months.

Firstly, Guaido appeared alongside members of the military, in number, at dawn, near or in a military base.

Secondly, he was next to an opposition leader who is meant to be under house arrest -- Leopoldo Lopez, who is essentially Guaido's predecessor. He can only have been there if part of the military or his other captors somehow assisted. 

Third, the government, while insisting all is under control, have said this is a "coup" that needs to be handled. They use tough language a lot, but today is not the day to overstate your opponent's activities. 

Finally, Maduro's aides are calling his supporters onto the streets around the presidential palace. That's sort of a siege mentality. The hours ahead will clarify if this is another episode in Venezuela's slow decline, or a change in pace or ugliness of the story.

8:07 a.m. ET, April 30, 2019

Cuban President rejects "coup movement" in Venezuela

Miguel Diaz-Canel, the President of Cuba and a key ally of Maduro's government, said he rejects the "coup movement" in Venezuela. His comments echo language used by Venezuelan government figures, who have also referred to Tuesday's efforts as a coup attempt.

"We reject this coup movement that tries to fill the country with violence. The traitors that have placed themselves at the head of this subversive movement have employed troops and police with weapons of war in a public street in the city to create anguish and terror,” Diaz-Canel wrote on Twitter.
7:58 a.m. ET, April 30, 2019

Government calls crowds to palace, says "situation is under control"

Venezuela's vice president Delcy Rodriguez has called for people to go to Miraflores Palace, the official workplace of the President, to "defend peace."

"Bolivarian democracy is founded on the protagonism of the people! Rest in the glory of our Libertadores, of Chavez! Traitors and fascists will never twist the destiny of freedom that Venezuela has marked! Let brave people to Miraflores to defend peace!,” Rodriguez said. 

Another government figure, Maduro's communications vice minister Isbemar Jimenez, also told CNN that "the situation is under control.” Jimenez added: "All military garrisons support Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro."

7:50 a.m. ET, April 30, 2019

Marco Rubio calls for military to support Guaidó

US Senator Marco Rubio has urged Venezuelan military personnel to "fulfill their constitutional oath" and support Guaidó, who declared himself the interim president of the country in January.

"After years of suffering freedom is waiting for people of #Venezuela. Do not let them take this opportunity from you," Rubio tweeted early Tuesday. "Now is the moment to take to the streets in support of your legitimate constitutional government. Do not allow this moment to slip away. It may not come again."

He also urged police, judicial and political leaders to support the efforts. "Today their (sic) can be no bystanders," he wrote.

He later added that the government's calls for people to head to the military base "is a clear sign that they have lost faith in their control of the military."

The United States is one of dozens of countries who have thrown their support behind the opposition leader.

7:38 a.m. ET, April 30, 2019

Tear gas fired outside Caracas air force base

Tear gas has been deployed outside Caracas’s La Carlota air force base, where Juan Guaidó said he filmed his dawn address flanked by military personnel.

It is unclear who deployed the tear gas. Guaidó and his supporters have called for Venezuelans to take to the streets in protest, as their efforts to oust President Nicolás Maduro appear to enter a new phase.

7:41 a.m. ET, April 30, 2019

Who is Leopoldo Lopez?

FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images
FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images

Juan Guaidó's dawn address, delivered alongside men in military attire, was notable for a number of reasons -- not least because another key opposition figure, Leopoldo Lopez, was present.

Lopez had been under house arrest, but said on Twitter he had been freed by military personnel. That could suggest growing support from military personnel for attempts to oust Maduro, though it is far from unclear how widespread that support is.

Lopez, a former mayor of a Caracas district with ambitions for the presidency, has long been a vocal opponent of the socialists in power and was banned in 2008 from running for office on accusations of corruption.

In February 2014, at least three people were killed during an anti-government protest in the capital, and authorities blamed him for the violence. He turned himself in, and was sentenced in 2015 to nearly 14 years in prison.

His imprisonment has been a rallying cry for anti-Maduro demonstrators, and Lopez was released to house arrest because of health concerns in July 2017.