Venezuelan security forces have arrested 27 National Guardsmen, after they allegedly revolted against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, the Defense Ministry said.
The ministry said “a small group” of National Guard members had taken four hostages and stolen weapons from an outpost in Caracas’ Cotiza neighborhood during a pre-dawn insurgency.
Venezuelan officials said the 27 were arrested and more could follow as the investigation unfolds.
All weapons recovered
The military said it had recovered all the weapons and captured those involved in what it described as “treasonous” acts motivated by “obscure interests tied to the far right.”
It said the revolt began at around 2:50 a.m. local time when the men took over a police station in western Caracas. They then moved across the capital in two military trucks to the poor neighborhood of Petare, where they stole a cache of weapons from another outpost.
They were arrested a short time later at a national guard outpost 3 kilometers from the presidential palace.
A few hours earlier, a group of guardsmen also reportedly posted videos on social media saying they won’t recognize the Maduro government and urged him to leave office. They asked those seeing the video to help them overthrow the government.
Protesters show support
The failed revolt sparked protests in the poor neighborhoods of the capital as the news spread. At daybreak in Cotiza, a group of young men built a barricade across the street with a burning car, heavy sewer grates and a large chunk of concrete. “Freedom! Freedom!” they chanted. “Maduro has to go!”
Maduro’s administration has come under increasing domestic and international pressure as he begins a second term that that the opposition-led congress considers illegitimate.