Update:5:30 PM Trump just tweeted:
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Tuesday called for a military uprising to oust President Nicolas Maduro and armed factions exchanged gunfire outside a Caracas air base as the country hit a new crisis point after years of political and economic chaos.
Several dozen armed men in military uniform accompanying Guaido clashed with soldiers supporting Maduro at a protest outside the La Carlota air base, Reuters witnesses said, but the incident fizzled out and did not appear to be part of an immediate attempt by the opposition to take power by force.
Guaido, in a video posted on Twitter earlier on Tuesday, said he had begun the “final phase” of his campaign to topple Maduro, calling on Venezuelans and the military to back him.
American National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence have since tweeted their support for Guaido, saying: ‘The United States stands with the people of Venezuela.’
U.S. President Donald Trump ‘has been briefed and is monitoring the ongoing situation,’ White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
Meanwhile two of the key international allies of Maduro – Bolivia and Cuba – condemned what they described as a coup attempt by violent rebels.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, another key ally of Venezuela that has invested billions in the country’s oil industry, was ‘discussing’ the situation with his top security team.