Drama in Venezuela's skies

Venezuela police helicopter bombs Supreme Court.

Chana Roberts ,

Flag of Venezuela
Flag of Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro condemned on Tuesday an attack in which a helicopter dropped gunfire and grenades over the country's Supreme Court building.

In his televised address, Maduro called the incident "an armed terrorist attack," and said one of the grenades had failed to explode.

No one was hurt, but security personnel are searching for the terrorist and Communications and Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said it was "an attempted coup."

"I demand that the MUD [opposition coalition] condemns this eminently coup-mongering attack," Maduro said. "… It could have caused a tragedy with several dozen dead and injured.”

Oscar Perez expressed opposition to his country's "criminal government" just prior to the attack, and later said four grenades were launched - two against the building, and two against National Guards who were protecting it.

Ahead of the attack, a man who identified himself as Oscar Perez posted a video online declaring his opposition to the country's "criminal government." He later identified himself as the pilot of the attacking helicopter, and said he had fired from near the Ministry of Interior building.

"Venezuelans, dear brothers, we talk to you on behalf of the state. We are a coalition of military employees, policemen and civilians who are looking for balance and are against this criminal government," Perez said. "We have two choices: be judged tomorrow by our conscience and the people or begin today to free ourselves from this corrupt government. We don't belong to any political tendency or party. We are nationalists, patriots, and institutionalists."

In his statement, Perez explained, "It is not vengeance, it is the justice and conscience that drives us to make change."

"On this day, we are carrying out a deployment by air and land with the sole purpose to return the democratic power to the people and to ensure the laws to establish constitutional order.

"It is our duty as state security officers that we dismantle these paramilitary bands ... We demand President Nicolas Maduro Moros to resign immediately together with his ministerial train and general elections are immediately called."

On March 29, Venezuela's Supreme Court dissolved the country's parliament and transferred all legislative powers to itself. This decision was reversed less than a week later, but the effects of it continue to ripple throughout the country - which is also suffering an economic crisis.

Earlier last on Tuesday, Maduro said, "I aspire that the world listens. After 90 days of violence, destruction and death. If Venezuela was launched into chaos and violence and the Bolivarian Revolution was destroyed, we would go to combat. We would never give up. And what couldn't be done with votes, we would do it with weapons. We would liberate our fatherland with arms."