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Venezuela Is Rising Up Against The Maduro Government Today And Here’s What We Know

After years of unrest and a spiraling economic crisis, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is facing the strongest show of opposition. Acting-President Juan Guaidó has called for the people of Venezuela to take to the streets and fight for Venezuela’s democracy to be restored. Here’s what has happened today.

The morning started with acting President Juan Guaidó calling for the people of Venezuela to take to the streets in a final push to restore “Venezuela’s national sovereignty.”

Guaidó took to Periscope this morning to rally the Venezuelan people and the military to join in a coup d’etat to take back Venezuela. Specifically, Guiadó called on the protesters to take to the streets in a non-violent fight against Nicolás Maduro and the regime that has devastated the country.

“Today, brave soldier, brave patriots, brave men loyal to the constitution have heard our call,” Guaidó says in the video. “We have finally met on the streets of Venezuela. Operation liberty, the Help and Freedom Committees, I invite them to immediately cover the streets of Venezuela. The first of May has started today. The definitive end of the usurpation starts today.”

One of the first things Guaidó did was to instruct the Venezuelan military to release Leopoldo Lopez from his house arrest.

Credit: @JaredGenser / Twitter

Leopoldo Lopez was the opposition leader when the Venezuelan opposition first started to push back in 2015 and 2016. His visibility and vocal opposition against Maduro made him a target in 2017. He was arrested and harassed multiple times by the Maduro government and his imprisonment at a military prison led to an international backlash against Maduro as Leopoldo’s health declined while detained.

“I have been released by the military under the orders of the constitution and President Guaidó,” Lopez tweeted for the first time since 2017. “I am at the Carlota Base. Everyone mobilize. It’a time to conquer for freedom. Strength and faith.”

Protesters have answered Guaidó’s call to take to the streets by the thousands.

The coup d’etat, being supported by members of the Venezuelan military, is pushing against pro-Maduro forces as clashes break out across the city of Caracas. Pro-Maduro forces are using deadly force against protesters as they try to end the protests and restore order.

Pro-Maduro colectivos have turned their guns and tanks against Guaidó supporters.

Colectivos were not always the armed aggressors of the Venezuelan government that we know today. It is only recently that the colectivos have participated in violence and fear-based terrorism of the Venezuelan people.

“The colectivos first appeared in the early years of the Chávez administration to inform people of social policies,” Margarita López Maya, a Venezuelan historian El Rosario University, told USA Today. “The idea was to organize people and inform them of what the government was doing.”

Some of the military member under Maduro’s rule have defected to support the Venezuelan people.

“There are generals, there are lieutenant colonels, there are majors, there are colonels — it’s a reflection of the country,” Guaidó told the press about the military joining in the fight against Maduro.

Venezuelans around the world are raising their voices for their home country today.

Venezuelans have been fighting for their country for years. The world is watching on today as they make another push to save their country from the hands of the man they no longer want in power.

This story is still developing. Check back with mitú for updates.

READ: Venezuelan Blackout Claims 21 Lives, Opposition Leaders Blame Maduro Regime

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