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Oppositioin demonstrators take part in a May Day rally in Caracas Oppositioin demonstrators take part in a May Day rally in Caracas  (AFP or licensors)

Venezuela opposition leader calls for peaceful political transition

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido is calling for more street protests today, while President Nicolas Maduro says an attempted coup has failed.

By James Blears

In a television address to the nation, President Nicolas Maduro insisted that a coup has failed and that most of his military remain loyal to him and his Government. Defence Minister General Vladimir Padrino pledges his support. Maduro denies he`s ready to flee Venezuela.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said a plane is standing ready to take Maduro to Cuba, but he`s staying put for the time being on Russian instructions. Maduro also denies this, while accusing Washington of orchestrating the coup. He vows that those responsible for all of this will certainly be punished.

The Trump Administration supports Guadio`s call for a military uprising leading to peaceful transition. Guaido was flanked by Leopoldo Lopez. Lopez who`s his mentor, was jailed in 2014, but later transferred to house arrest, from which Guaido`s supporters released him. Lopez and his family are now being given refuge by the Spanish Embassy.

Ugly clashes between rival factions of supporters, which troops which are still loyal to Maduro firing tear gas, rubber bullets and in some cases live rounds. The collapse of civil law and order, is following near total economic collapse. The situation has now developed into a full blown crisis and the coming hours of this day, will show which way it`ll go, and if it`s already gone beyond the point of no return.

Listen to the report by James Blears
01 May 2019, 17:36