Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro claimed to have defeated what he called a military coup attempt by the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó.
Dozens of National Guardsmen sided with the opposition in clashes on Tuesday that injured more than 100 people, but in a defiant TV address, President Maduro said Mr Guaidó had failed to turn the military against him.
In his televised address, flanked by military commanders, Mr. Maduro accused protesters of “serious crimes”, which he said would “not go unpunished”.
Mr. Guaidó insists that Mr. Maduro has lost control of the armed forces, and that a peaceful transition is at hand.
Both the president and Mr. Guaidó have called on their supporters to take to the streets, setting up more potential violent clashes today.
Mr. Maduro also denied claims that he was planning to leave the country and head to Cuba, but was convinced not to, by Russia.
Meanwhile the United States is saying that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro must leave the country even if he gives up power.
Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that this is the only solution the US is willing to accept.
Pompeo said that Maduro’s plane was parked on the runway, and he was prepared to depart to Cuba that morning before being talked out of it, by unnamed Russian officials.
The Secretary of State said he could not reveal how the US obtained that information, but that Washington was talking to “scores and scores of people on the ground.”