Developing: Juan Guaidó Launches Military Uprising in Venezuela Against Socialist Maduro
Update 3:37 p.m.: Forces are advancing to the presidential palace.
Update 3:00 p.m.: Ambassador John Bolton speaks on Venezuela.
He praises the "act of bravery" from Guaidó.
And one more important thing: This is "clearly NOT a coup."
Update 2:55 p.m.: Ex-pats in Colombia want to cross back into Venezuela and fight against Maduro.
Trump says he's watching the situation "very closely."
The U.S. can help oust Maduro...
Update 1:52 p.m.: The battle is ongoing.
PragerU has a reminder of how Venezuela got here.
The Daily Mail has some pictures.
Update 12:20 p.m.: Kellyanne Conway speaks out.
Update 12:15 p.m.: The battle is still raging.
A pro-Maduro armored vehicle ran over protesters in Caracas, according to this gruesome footage.
I spoke with a missionary on the ground in Colombia and will have a story coming soon.
Update 11:15 a.m.: 2020 Dems are still silent on Venezuela, at least on Twitter...
Big government candidate Jill Stein acts as though Venezuela was in a good place with Maduro and Guaidó will only mess things up.
Venezuelans in Colombia pray for military support against Maduro.
"We're making history."
Guaidó reports that 24 states of the country have followed him.
Update 10:38 a.m.: Maduro is still in hiding, while Guaidó is leading protesters in the streets of Caracas. Who's acting like the rightful president?
This soldier defected from Maduro but will not follow Guaidó to the death.
Social media has been largely shut down.
Update 10:32 a.m.: Political prisoner Leopoldo López has been released.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) shared the news. "Great news this morning. Venezuelan political prisoner Leopoldo López has been released! Top Venezuelan military officials have decided to support interim President Guaidó, and the fight for freedom on democracy in [Venezuela]!" Scott tweeted.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has attacked the use of the term "coup attempt" for Guaidó's efforts this morning. PJ Media has changed its headline.
"Just saw [CNN] shamefully call what is happening today in [Venezuela] a 'coup attempt' [Guaidó] is recognized as legitimate interim President of [Venezuela] by constitution,over 50 countries & OAS. The only coup is the one carried out by [Cuba] in support of dictator [Maduro]," Rubio tweeted.
Update 10:16 a.m.: Maduro has shut down public transit, so protesters are walking to join Guaidó.
Defected soldiers are being welcomed as liberators.
Update 10:07 a.m.: Vice President Mike Pence expressed his support for the opposition leader.
More video of the battle for Venezuela.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) has been on the front lines of the pro-democracy effort in Venezuela, assisting Guaidó and his supporters. Marion Smith, VOC's executive director, says these could be socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro's final moments.
Smith has been in contact with many in Venezuela, including: world-famous violinist Wuilly Arteaga, who was arrested and beaten by Maduro's officials; and Enrique Altimari, international representative of Primmer Justicia, Venezuela's largest opposition party. VOC brought Arteaga and Altimari to Washington, D.C. to spread awareness of Maduro's violence and oppression.
On Tuesday morning, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó launched a military uprising against socialist President Nicolás Maduro. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced America's support for the attempt.
Guaidó posted a video on Twitter showing him in front of armed men, defending his call for an uprising by referencing the country's constitution.
The opposition leader denounced Maduro's government as a usurpation. Last May, Maduro won a second six-year term, but international observers slammed the election as a show election, with the lowest voter turnout in recent history. Guaidó has cast the election as unjust, and proclaimed himself the president. The U.S. and many other countries have supported Guaidó, including most of Europe and most of the countries in South America (including Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Argentina).
"The national armed forces have made the right decision, they have the support of the Venezuelan people, with the endorsement of our Constitution, with the guarantee of being on the right side of the story. To deploy the forces to achieve the cessation of usurpation," Guaidó tweeted.
He rallied to the air base "La Carlota," rousing the people of Caracas (the capital) to seize the air base.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) shared a report that the gates of the base have been opened to support Guaidó.
As the coup began, Pompeo announced his support for the opposition leader.
"Today interim President Juan Guaido announced start of Operación Libertad. The U.S. Government fully supports the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy. Democracy cannot be defeated," Pompeo tweeted.
The uprising has spread beyond Caracas. Rubio noted that citizens gathered outside of a military base in Maracaibo.
Here's a video.
Foreign Policy Magazine published an infographic showing which countries support the opposition.
This story will be updated.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.