Shocking footage has emerged of a Venezuelan military vehicle running down civilians in the street, as the country continues to melt down amid reports of a coup which threatens to remove socialist dictator Nicholas Maduro from power.
The footage, taken in the capital city of Caracas, shows anti-Maduro protestors being crushed by the heavy-duty military truck after it accelerated towards them.
As you can imagine, outrage on social media has been swift. Many have compared the incident to the 1989 Tianamen Square massacre during which a student-led protest resulted in thousands of deaths at the hands of Chinese government forces.
Two years ago, a secret diplomatic cable between Britain and China revealed that at least 10,000 people perished as a result of the military action.
“The moment is now”
Venezuela certainly appears to be close to reaching a tipping point. For months now, the economic destitution of this once thriving nation has caused many to turn their backs on Maduro and his devastating economic policy.
According to other reports, gunshots were heard at a rally led by opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
“We know that all Venezuelans are in favor of change and the Constitution,” Guaidó told demonstrators at a gathering in Altamira, later tweeting that “the moment is now.”
In a tweet supporting those who are showing brave opposition to the socialist Maduro regime, President Donald Trump’s senior National Security advisor John Bolton tweeted that Venezuelans “have made clear that the current path toward democracy is irreversible.”
“Venezuela’s military has a choice: embrace democracy, protect civilians and members of the democratically-elected National Assembly, or face more man-made suffering and isolation,” Bolton declared.
“We are with you!” Vice President Mike Pence tweeted to Guaidó. “America will stand with you until freedom & democracy are restored. Vayan con dios.”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro also vowed to support the opposition leader in his bid for power.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he is watching developments in Venezuela “closely and with concern,” and urged all sides to exercise “maximum restraint.”
Elsewhere, protests are taking place outside the Venezuela embassy in Washington, D.C., with crowds gathering both in support and in opposition of Maduro’s rule.