Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Oil and Gas News from OilGasDaily.Com  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Hoax or not, Venezuela chopper caper spells trouble
By Maria Isabel SANCHEZ
Caracas (AFP) June 29, 2017

Venezuelans disagree on whether a helicopter grenade attack claimed by rogue cops was a coup or a hoax. Either way, it shows security forces risk turning against the government.

Authorities said they were still hunting the man accused of piloting the helicopter from which grenades were dropped on the Supreme Court on Monday: Oscar Perez, a cop who also happens to have appeared in an action film.

Local people, opposition leaders and some analysts suspect he is just a poser hired by the government to justify it cracking down on its opponents.

For others, the most important thing it highlighted is the delicate role played by the security forces in Venezuela's potentially explosive crisis.

"We call on the people to remain calm," said the head of the armed forces, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, "but also to remain on alert in case of an escalation."

- Testing loyalties -

Analysts at consultancy Eurasia Group judged that the grenade attack "seems to be individually motivated rather than a government conspiracy or coordinated attempt with other security or military actors."

But they warned in a note that the attack came as anti-government protests "are turning more violent and testing the loyalties of the security apparatus."

Despite being widely blamed for a desperate economic crisis, Maduro retains the public backing of the military high command. Analysts say that is key to him remaining in power.

But there is movement in the ranks. Last week Maduro said he had replaced the heads of the army, navy, central strategic command and the military police.

Venezuela has seen three attempted military coups since 1992.

Unrest has mounted over the past three months as opponents demanding elections to remove Maduro have staged daily street protests.

Demonstrators have accused police of attacking them.

On Thursday state prosecutors said in a statement they were bringing charges against the recently-removed head of the military police, Antonio Benavides Torres, for alleged human rights violations.

But the opposition also knows that some officers sympathize with their side.

"This issue about the helicopter is a clear signal of the discontent in this country," said senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

"There is internal division, in the police, the national guard and all the institutions."

- Distracting attention? -

The government said Tuesday the helicopter used in the attack had been found in Osma, a town near Caracas, but no arrests had been made.

Perez appeared in a video released online around the time of the attack claiming he was a "warrior of God" and urging an uprising against the government. He has not appeared since.

Foreign Minister Moncada said some in the opposition were "acting crazy" by alleging that "this was a lie made up by the government, that we did it on purpose to distract the public's attention" from the crisis.

The interior ministry issued an international arrest order for Perez, 36. It accused him of links to the CIA.

Maduro has regularly claimed the opposition is plotting against him with US backing.

The opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition distanced itself from the attack.

"This is not the way the coalition does things," said opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido.

"The MUD demands democratic change only by peaceful means."

The opposition Thursday continued with its street protests against Maduro's constitutional reform plan.

"Some people say it is a hoax, some say it is real," opposition legislative speaker Julio Borges told reporters on Tuesday.

"Whatever it is, it is very serious. It all points to one conclusion: that the situation in Venezuela is unsustainable."

Washington: An energy-dominant U.S. is free from external shocks
Washington (UPI) Jun 28, 2017
An energy-dominant United States means the country is self-reliant and isolated from countries that aim to use energy as a weapon, the energy secretary said. U.S. President Donald Trump is highlighting his energy strategy this week as the Energy Department's independent Energy Information Administration holds its annual conference in the nation's capital. Earlier this week, White ... read more

Related Links
All About Oil and Gas News at

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Regulating the indirect land use carbon emissions imposes high hidden costs on fuel

New catalyst paves way for carbon neutral fuel

Corn better used as food than biofuel

Discovery could lead to sustainable ethanol made from carbon dioxide

Air pollution casts shadow over solar energy production

SOVENTIX and Gentec EPC sign a joint venture agreement to develop solar hybrid projects across Nigeria

Pacific island nations get renewable energy support

ABB microgrid to power Aruba and support transition to renewable energy

Thrive Renewables delivers mezzanine funded wind farms in Scotland

It's a breeze: How to harness the power of the wind

ADB: Asia-Pacific growth tied to renewables

GE Energy Financial Services Surpasses $15 Billion in Renewable Energy Investments

UK nuclear plant to cost consumers billions more

AREVA obtains transport license for its new cask in France and Belgium

NWMO to Focus Field Studies on Fewer Communities

Toshiba delays results again citing US nuclear unit

How the climate can rapidly change at tipping points

Climate change more important than partisan politics: Schwarzenegger

NASA-MIT Study Evaluates Efficiency of Oceans as Heat Sink, Atmospheric Gases Sponge

Starvation looms as food runs out in drought-hit Ethiopia

China's Futuristic Elevated Bus Scrapped, Accused of Being a Scam

S.Korean cars recalled in China as row hits sales

New Zealand puts more emphasis on electric vehicles

Part Plane, Part Car: Unique Russian Begalet Vehicle to Wow Enthusiasts

Iraq forces push deep into devastated Old Mosul

Mosul's 'hunchback' minaret: Iraq's beloved landmark

At least three killed in Mosul suicide attacks: officials

In Mosul, ghostly civilians emerge from Old City hell

Iran nuclear chief urges West to save historic deal

Second N. Korean soldier defects to S. Korea in a month

China's top diplomat holds talks with Trump on N. Korea

Violinist shines new spotlight on Australia nuclear tests

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement