Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó took to the streets on Tuesday, calling on citizens and the military to back him up in the “final phase” of the interim president’s plan to end the regime of socialist President Nicolás Maduro.
Guaido’s announcement immediately drew support from politicians in the U.S., which said earlier this year it would recognize Guaidó as the country's interim president.
Vice President Mike Pence on Twitter told Venezuelans, "We are with you!"
But Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza shot back at Pence, tweeting that America is behind "the attempted coup d’état."
Arreaza wrote in an earlier tweet that the "Trump administration, in its despair, attempts to spark an internal conflict in Venezuela."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that the U.S. government “fully supports” the people of Venezuela, adding that “democracy cannot be defeated.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., urged Venezuelans to support Guaidó, tweeting, in part, “Now is the moment to take to the streets in support of your legitimate constitutional government.”
Florida Sen. Rick called for China and Russia, who have supported the embattled Maduro, to end their ties with the regime, tweeting: “This is not your fight. Let the people of Venezuela be free!”
In Russia, President Vladimir Putin is said to be paying "significant" attention to the reports about "a coup attempt in that country," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., tweeted that Maduro has caused the people of Venezuela to suffer for too long, writing, “He must go!”
Maduro's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino on Twitter rejected what he called an attempt by a "subversive movement" to generate "panic and terror."
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton addressed Padrino in a tweet, asserting that the U.S. "stands with the people of Venezuela."
Bolton followed up with another tweet, urging the Venezuelan military to "embrace democracy" or else "face more man-made suffering" under the Maduro regime.
Venezuela's socialist party chief Diosdado Cabello said most of Caracas was calm and called on government supporters to amass at the presidential palace to defend Maduro from what he said was a U.S.-backed coup attempt.
Meanwhile, Spain's caretaker government urged restraint.
"We hope with all of our strength that there is no bloodshed. We support a peaceful democratic process in Venezuela. We support the immediate holding of an election for a new president," Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Celaá said.
Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January, triggering a power struggle with Maduro. He has the support from about 50 countries, including the U.S. and several European nations, who have disavowed Maduro’s presidency.
Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang and the Associated Press contributed to this report.