US declares support for Venezuela coup attempt

The US has declared its support for Juan Guaidó as he called for the Venezuelan military to join an uprising against the government of Nicolás Maduro.

The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, tweeted a message in support of what he called “the start of Operación Libertad”.

The vice-president, Mike Pence, also went on to Twitter to encourage the protesters:

The national security adviser, John Bolton, also tweeted a direct message to Maduro’s defence minister, Vladimir Padrino, saying the country’s armed forces “must protect the constitution and the Venezuelan people”.

The White House said that President Trump is being kept informed about events in Venezuela as they unfolded.

It is unclear whether the administration was prepared to go beyond verbal support and how it would act if the uprising was defeated by Maduro’s forces.

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