In Venezuela, members of the police attacked multiple government buildings using a stolen police helicopter on Tuesday, throwing grenades at the Supreme Court building and firing shots at the Interior Ministry headquarters, in the latest escalation of Venezuela’s political crisis. This is police pilot Oscar Pérez, standing in front of armed men, in a video statement released Tuesday.
Oscar Pérez: “Venezuelans, dear brothers, we speak for the state. We are a group of military officials, police and civilians in the search for balance and against this transitionary criminal government. We do not belong to nor do we have a partisan political leaning. We are nationalists, patriots, institutionalists. This combat is not with the rest of the security forces of the state. It is against the imposed impunity of this government.”
President Nicolás Maduro has called Tuesday’s attack terrorism and an attempted coup, and has activated the armed forces. The attack came shortly after clashes broke out between opposition lawmakers and Venezuelan national guardsmen. The Venezuelan Supreme Court has been the target of fierce criticism from the right-wing opposition after recent rulings ended parliamentary immunity and granted the judiciary temporary legislative powers, though the court later annulled both rulings. Tuesday’s attack comes amid months of massive antigovernment protests in Venezuela.