Helicopter attack on top Venezuela court
A HELICOPTER from Venezuela’s Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations agency which was stolen on Tuesday, circled around the Supreme Court building, firing shots toward the building, followed by two explosions which were said to be grenades.
The top court’s building in northern Caracas was sealed off after the national guard repelled the attack, which occurred around 5pm local time.
A banner was unfurled from the helicopter that read, “350 Libertad,” in reference to article 350 of the Bolivarian Constitution that opposition forces are attempting to invoke to stop the National Constituent Assembly.
The Minister of Communication and Information Ernesto Villegas denounced the armed attack, identifying Oscar Alberto Perez as the pilot who shot 15 times at the Interior Ministry, where 80 people were still at work.
Villegas reiterated that “these types of terrorist attacks will not detain the Constituent Assembly due on July 30”.
Despite rumours to the contrary, all was calm in the capital area after the attacks, according to media reports.
President Nicolas Maduro said that because of the rapid reaction to the coup attempt by Venezuelan forces, many civilian lives had been saved as grenades and shots rang out near the Supreme Court building as well as the Interior Ministry building.
“The entire air defence and detection plan was immediately activated to guarantee the people’s right to peace against an armed attack,” he said.
A demonstrator attends a rally against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas on Tuesday.