At approximately 5:00 AM this morning, a group of rebellious soldiers–both retired and active duty–launched an attack on the Fuerte Paramacay [Paramacay Military Base in Valencia], Carabobo state. The soldiers formed part of the 41st Armoured Brigade, which is posted to the base. The rebellion was headed by National Guard Captain Juan Caguaripano, who was ejected from the military in 2012 for his rebellious views.
The rebellion, which was launched as an attempt to spark a larger insurrection against the Maduro regime, does not appear to have succeeded in that goal.
Captain Caguaripano announced the start of the rebellion in the overnight hours by releasing a YouTube video announcing the fact. Below, the video along with my translation:
Captain Caguaripano: Good morning, and may god bless all of Venezuela. This is Captain Captain , commander of Operation David – Carabobo, from the 41st Armoured Brigade in Valencia. I am accompanied by officers and soldiers from this glorious unit, which is part of the true National Armed Forces, the forger of freedom, along with active and reserve troops from all branches, police overs, and brave men and women who love peace and liberty.
We have declared ourselves in legitimate rebellion, united today more than ever with the brave people of Venezuela in order to reject Nicolas Maduro’s murderous tyranny. We want to make clear that this is not a coup d’eat. This is a civil and military action in order to restore constitutional order, and to save the country from total destruction, and to stop the killing of our youth and relatives.
As [members of the Constitutional armed forces], we recognize and respect the National Assembly, but we demand that it recognize and respect the will of a people who want to be free from tyranny, and that they honour the heroic memory of young people like Neomar [Lander], Geraldine [Moreno], [Juan Pablo] Pernalete, and so many others who, with cardboard shields and steel hearts, have given up their lives in order to show the people how to defeat fear. To the National Assembly: the time for agreements and hidden pacts has passed. We need honest politicians to go over the heads of the corrupt elites who betray the people.
We demand the immediate creation of a transitional government, free general elections, and independent public institutions. We call on our brothers in arms to reject this murderous regime from within their bases, and that they disobey their elite, corrupt generals who do not represent the honour or the dignity of the armed forces. Do not cause our family shame.
we invite all Venezuelans to go to army bases and police headquarters to unite in this act of liberation. We call on all [bases/police headquarters] to place signs on their outer walls citing Article 350 [of the Constitution, which establishes the duty to rebel against tyranny] and receive in an orderly and peaceful fashion the residents from their neighbourhoods. Any military unit that engages in hostile action action the civilian population will be considered a military target, and we will come after them with the full strength of our allied forces throughout the country.
Venezuela, god is with us. Starting today, liberty lives and tyranny dies.
The attack on the military base began 3:00-5:00 AM.
Rebellious Captain Discharged In 2014 For Rebellion
Captain Juan Caguaripano Scott, the apparent leader of today’s rebellion at Fuerte Paramacay, was discharged from the military in 2014 for rebellion.
Caguaripano’s rebellious plans came to light in 2014, when he joined the anti-regime protests that swept through the country during the early part of that year.
The rebellious captain even appeared on CNN that year where he explained his reasons for rebelling against the government. Among them he named “the abuses, the deaths, the torture”, which he blamed on the Maduro regime.
Caguaripano has been on the run since 2014.
Chaotic Scenes Outside Base as News of Insurrection Spreads
As news of the assault on the base spread, residents of the neighbourhoods near Fuerte Paramacay took to the streets in an apparent attempt to support the rebellion.
In the video below, a tank moves inside the base while people watching from outside the base sing the national anthem:
The image below shows residents near the base. Note the tear gas in the distance:
The video below shows a group of protesters singing the national anthem before a National Guard column, which had presumably been dispatched to the base to help quell the
By 10:00 AM, news that the assault had been repelled began to spread. Shortly after, two government-controlled helicopters began to fly over the base and the surrounding area, presumably looking for rebel soldiers:
The residents who had attempted to reach the base were eventually repelled by National Guard soldiers:
The video below shows a government helicopter approaching a group of civilians who were on top of a building near the base observing the event:
The video below shows the government helicopter flying low over a crowd of protesters in Valencia:
Military Claims Attack Was Carried Out By Civilians
The Ministry of Defense issued its official response to today’s event at Fuerte Paramacay today, claiming that the attack was carried out by civilians in military clothes who were hired by “right-wing extremists in connection with foreign governments”.
Below, my translation of the full text of the Minister of Defense statement:
The National Bolivarian Armed Forces informs the Venezuelan people and the entire world that during the overnight hours on August 6 2017, there was a terrorist attack of the paramilitary variety against the 41st Armoured Brigade of the Bolivarian Army, located in Valencia, Carabobo state.
This action was carried out by a group of civilian criminals wearing military uniforms and a first lieutenant who had deserted.
The same individuals were repelled immediately by personnel from the base, and several of them were arrested, including the officer. Part of the group was able to steal some weapons, and there is an intense search for them underway by several state security forces.
The terrorist operation involved the recording of a video that was recorded by a junior officer who was ejected from the institution three years ago for treason against the fatherland and rebellion.
The individuals who were captured have confessed that they were hired in Zulia, Lara, and Yaracuy states by activists from the extreme right-wing in Venezuela, in connection with foreign governments.
This event has taken place precisely after the people of Venezuela, in accordance with the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, elected with more than eight million votes the National Constituent Assembly, which was installed on Friday August 4 2017. As the expression of the originating constituent power, [the Constituent Assembly] is the ideal mechanism to peaceful work through the difference that might exist between Venezuelans.
Just the election of the Constituent Assembly allowed for the return of harmony and peace to Venezuelan society, after an extended period of isolated violence, which was orchestrated by internal and external factions who wanted foreign intervention in Venezuela.
Today’s terrorist attack is nothing more than a propaganda show, a fantasy, a desperate move that forms part of the continuing destabilizing plans [from the opposition] that have been taking place in order to stop the consolidation of the renaissance of our Republic.
The National Bolivarian Armed Forces remain unmovable, a monolith, adhering to its democratic convictions, with high morale and supporting citizen Nicolas Maduro Moros unconditionally, as he is the constitutional president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and our commander in chief, [and we also support] the Constituent [Assembly] and the Bolivarian Revolution as a project that seeks to consolidate the a free, sovereign and independent fatherland.
We strongly stress our rejection of this attack, which was planned by small groups with perverse interests and nefarious intent against the fatherland. In this way, the Military Attorney General has already been informed so that the necessary actions can take place, since [this act] is clearly a military crime.
We strong stress our rejection of these types of barbaric acts against the people and its institutions. This cowardly act strengthens our principles and values. We will not accept any attack on our sovereignty, under no conditions, and even less when [these attacks] attempt to undermine the social victories that have been achieved to the benefit of the great majority.
Finally, we are calling on every woman and every woman of this land, as brothers tied by history and our free-loving roots, will find a way to find a solution to our problems within the framework of the law. A country cannot be built with violence or resentment: but rather with justice, cooperation and understanding.
Chavez Livez… The fatherland continues!
Independence and a socialist fatherland…
We will survive, and we will win!
Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Commander in Chief
Speaking at an event later in the day, Maduro said that the attack on the base was planned and organized in Miami and Colombia, and blamed local journalist Patricia Poleo of also being involved in the attack. Maduro did not provide any evidence for his claims.
Unrest In Naguanagua Continues Into the Evening
Naguanagua, which is a city located to the north of Fuerte Paramacay, continued to see unrest into the evening hours.
The video below shows clashes near a residential complex in the city at around 3:30 PM:
The video below shows a group of protesters throwing fireworks at what appear to be National Guard soldiers somewhere in the city at around the same time:
Opposition Politician Killed in Valencia Protest
Ramon Rivas, a leader of the Avanzada Progresista [Progressive Advance] party, was killed during the unrest in Valencia this afternoon. Rivas is the 133rd person to be killed in anti-government protests in April 1.
El Nacional reports that Rivas was at a protest on the Guaparo roundabout in Valencia, not far from the Paramacay Military Base, when he was shot by security forces who had responded to the scene. Rivas was taken to a nearby medical centre, where he subsequently died.
Leopoldo Lopez Released Into House Arrest Again
Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was released into house arrest again during the overnight hours this morning.
Leopoldo Lopez was taken into custody from house arrest on Tuesday alongside another opposition leader, Antonio Ledezma. Ledezma was returned to house arrest two days ago.
Together, the men are among the most famous of Venezuela’s 500 or so political prisoners.
Survey: 77.6% Believe Constituent Assembly Vote was a Fraud
A survey by the Hercon polling firm released today shows that an overwhelming number of Venezuelans–77.6%–believe that last Sunday’s Constituent Assembly vote was a fraud. The poll is the first to survey post-vote opinions of the Constituent Assembly.
The survey results are similar to those of one conducted by Datanalisis and released just before Sunday’s vote. That survey found that 72.7% did not agree with the Constituent Assembly vote.
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