Several Venezuelan National Guard soldiers have been arrested, accused by authorities near Caracas of attempting to mutiny against Nicolas Maduro, the current president of the country. According to one report from Agence France Presse (AFP), the rebelling soldiers posted a video message to social media in an attempt to spur support for their cause. Shortly after the video was released, Venezuelan law enforcement personnel arrested the mutineers.
“We are the professional troop of the National Guard against the regime, which we completely repudiate,” said the group’s leader, who the Guardian identified as 3Sgt Alexander Bandres Figueroa. “I need your help. Take to the streets.”
“This fight is for you, for Venezuela,” Figueroa said in a second video.
The attempted coup began early on Monday, January 21, according to reports, when the group of rebelling soldiers stormed a Venezuelan National Guard operations center outside the capital in the city of Petare. Once inside, the group allegedly stole several weapons before taking four loyalist soldiers hostage. The group then drove to another National Guard center in Cotiza, where they began calling for a general uprising via social media.