Venezuela news: Uprising in Caracas has Venezuelans in Chicago watching closely

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Opposition leader Juan Guaido took a bold step to revive his movement to seize power in Venezuela, taking to the streets Tuesday to call for a military uprising that drew quick support from the Trump administration and fierce resistance from forces loyal to socialist Nicolas Maduro.

The violent street battles that erupted in parts of Caracas were the most serious challenge yet to Maduro's rule. And while the rebellion seemed to have garnered only limited military support, at least one high-ranking official announced he was breaking with Maduro, in a setback for the embattled president.

In a Tuesday night appearance on national television, Maduro declared that the opposition had attempted to impose an "illegitimate government" with the support of the United States and neighboring Colombia. He said Venezuela had been a victim of "aggression of all kinds."

Meanwhile, Guaido sought to keep the momentum going at the end of the day by releasing his own video message in which he pressed Venezuelans to take to the streets again on Wednesday.

Chicagoans from Venezuela who have loved ones there are watching the developments closely.

The video coming out of Caracas is difficult to watch. What stability was left of the shaky Latin American socialist country seemed to collapse into fresh chaos. Tanks steamrolled the streets and mowed down protestors demanding Maduro step down. Amazingly, no one was killed.

"It is a very delicate moment. I want to stress again, the president wants to see a peaceful transfer of power from Maduro to Gauido," said National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Crowds cheered as military members crossed lines, defecting and joining the opposition movement.

Venezuelans who've sought safety in Chicago watched as their country teeters on the edge.

"I wish to be there fighting against the government, but on the other hand I'm happy that I'm here 'cause my family is safe," said Erick Rivero, Venezuelan in Chicago.

"Today we've been trying to have information about what's happening in Venezuela because there's no official information," said Kharim Rincon, Venezuelan in Chicago.

In a restaurant in city's Hermosa neighborhood, they've created a home-like haven where Venezuelans can huddle together and hope.

"The best possible outcome is Nicolas Madura left the power," Rincon said. "I don't think it's going to be easy, but we hope for that to happen."

After a full day of protest there is still no sign that Guaido has gained the full confidence of the military.

Earlier this evening U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro had planned to leave Venezuela this morning, but, he said, the Russians convinced him to stay.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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