The US has barred American pilots and low flying planes from going into Venezuela indefinitely following opposition leader Juan Guaido's failed coup, citing "increasing political instability and tensions".
"It's now or never", said one of the young soldiers, his face covered in the blue bandanna preferred by the few dozen soldiers who stood alongside Guaido and Lopez.
The video appeared to have been recorded at dawn in or near La Carlota air force base in Caracas.
Fireworks launched by opponents of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro land near Bolivarian National Guard armored vehicles loyal to Maduro, during an attempted military uprising in Caracas, April 30, 2019.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido took a bold step to revive his movement to seize power in Venezuela, taking to the streets Tuesday to call for a military uprising that drew quick support from the Trump administration and fierce resistance from forces loyal to socialist Nicolas Maduro.
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Maduro, backed by Russian Federation and China, has blasted Guaido as a USA -backed puppet, while appearing to retain control of state institutions and the loyalty of senior military officers.
Meanwhile, most shops and businesses were closed and the streets of the capital unusually quiet, as people huddled at home to await the outcome of the day's drama.
Guaido, the leader of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly, in January invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing that Maduro's re-election in 2018 was illegitimate.
The U.S. and about 50 other nations take the position that Maduro's re-election a year ago was irrevocably marred by fraud and he is not the legitimate president of Venezuela.
"That's right", Pompeo said.
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Who is Venezuela's legitimate leader? "They are very actively collaborating", said Mark Weisbrot, who is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington and has called for a negotiated end to the political crisis. "So if the military have the guns, they have the power and as long as Nicolás Maduro controls the military, he controls the country".
"This will not go unpunished", Maduro said in an address broadcast on television and the radio.
But he did not offer evidence that three of Maduro's top loyalists had expressed a willingness to turn against the president. Others allies include Cuba, Iran and Turkey.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued an order on Tuesday night that barred all U.S. planes from entering the airspace below 26,000 feet over Venezuela as the South American country braced for a second day of political violence.
Although Trump has repeatedly said "all options" are on the table regarding Venezuela - including, implicitly, military action - there has been no noticeable USA military mobilization.
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