There are two stories about the assault on Fuerte Paramacay military barracks in Carabobo state on Sunday. The Venezuelan government says that half the 20 attackers were killed or captured, and the rest are being hunted down. Sgt Giomar Flores, who defected from the Venezuelan navy in June and now lives in Colombia, told The Guardian of London that the attack had been “a complete success.”
“We took four battalions and one put up resistance,” he said, claiming to be in direct contact with the leader of the attack, Capt Juan Caguaripano. The rebels took “a large amount of weapons,” mostly assault rifles, and got away with no casualties.
Whichever story you believe, witnesses agree that large numbers of civilians living near the base in Valencia, the capital of Carabobo, spilled out onto the streets in support of the rebels. Civil war in Venezuela is not yet a reality, but there is ample dry tinder lying around just waiting for a match.