Government says 27 national guardsmen have been arrested and accuses ‘shadowy interests’ of launching insurrection
'Venezuela’s government has claimed to have foiled what appeared to be an attempted military insurrection, blaming the mutiny on “shadowy interests of the extreme right”.
In a statement, Venezuela accused a small group of “assailants” from the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) of “betraying their oath of loyalty to the homeland” by kidnapping four officials in an attempt to steal weapons that began at about 2.50am local time (0650 GMT) on Monday.
The apparent uprising appeared to have been small-scale, but it is the latest sign of resistance to Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro, who took power after Hugo Chávez’s death in 2013 and has led his country into an economic slump and a humanitarian crisis.
Diosdado Cabello, a leading chavista (supporter of Chávez) who is widely seen as a possible successor to Maduro, said: “Our Bolivarian armed forces will respond to attacks against the homeland … wherever they come from.
“The group of robbers have been neutralised, subdued and captured, in record time, and are already confessing the details.”
He added that 27 guardsmen were arrested and more could be detained as the investigation unfolded.
Earlier, videos circulating on social media showed a group of armed, uniformed men promising to “re-establish the constitutional order”.
A man who identifies himself as 3Sgt Alexander Bandres Figueroa tells viewers: “Get out on to the streets … It is today. It’s today … People, get out, support us.'
Read more: Venezuela claims it has foiled attempted military uprising