(CNN)The leader of Venezuela’s opposition, Juan Guaidó, on Tuesday declared “the start of the end of the usurpation,” in a dawn address in which he was flanked by men in military fatigues and armored vehicles in the capital Caracas.
Guaidó, who is head of Venezuela’s national assembly and has been recognized as president by dozens of other countries, has led months of protest against the Maduro government, yet Tuesday marked his boldest attempt yet to involve the military in the removal of the Venezuelan president.In the video, broadcast on Guaidó’s social media account, another key opposition figure, Leopoldo Lopez, appeared to be present. Lopez is currently under house arrest, and it was unclear how he had evaded custody to take part in the video, which Guaidó said was filmed in a military airbase, La Carlota. Guaidó has called for nationwide demonstrations on May 1, and said his announcement signaled the start of that protest a day early.Read MoreHe later tweeted, “The people of Venezuela initiated the end of the usurpation. At this moment I am meeting with the main military units of our Armed Forces, beginning the final phase of Operation Freedom.”
Pueblo de Venezuela inició el fin de la usurpación. En este momento me encuentro con las principales unidades militares de nuestra Fuerza Armada dando inicio a la fase final de la Operación Libertad.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) April 30, 2019