In a stunning development, it seems a helicopter has fired on the Venezuelan Supreme Court building in what President Nicolas Maduro is calling part of a police revolt to destabilize his socialist regime.
According to ABC News, an Associated Press reporter did indeed hear gunfire while a blue helicopter flew overhead, but could not say for sure whether the shots originated from the vehicle. The incident happened whiel Maduro was speaking to pro-regime media at the presidential palace.
Adding to the intrigue, pictures of a blue police helicopter carrying an anti-government banner appeared on social media around the same time as a video in which a pilot for the police squad, identified as Oscar Perez, called for a rebellion against the Maduro’s “tyranny” as part of a coalition of members of the security forces.
“We have two choices: be judged tomorrow by our conscience and the people or begin today to free ourselves from this corrupt government,” the man said while reading from a statement with four people dressed in military fatigues, ski masks and carrying what look like assault rifles standing behind him.
However, not everyone is convinced that a police uprising that will topple the regime is imminent; ABC’s report notes that some Maduro foes suspect the incident is a stunt by Maduro himself, “trying to spread fear to help justify a crackdown against Venezuelan seeking to block his plans to rewrite the constitution.”
The BBC provides more details and background:
There are no reports of anyone being killed or injured.
There have been almost daily protests against Mr Maduro’s leftist government for more than two months, as the country’s economic and political crisis has worsened.
More than 70 people have been killed in protest-related violence since 1 April, according to figures released by the chief prosecutor’s office.
It’s too soon to say whether a this was a lone actor or if it signifies a true uprising that will finally bring liberty to Venezuela, but here’s praying that the people are liberated sooner rather than later.