BBC News:– Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has appeared flanked by soldiers at an army base in Caracas, in a show of defiance towards his opponents.
Mr Maduro called on the armed forces to defeat “any coup plotter”, as clashes between opposition supporters and pro-government forces continued.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó tried on Wednesday to spark a military rebellion and force Mr Maduro from office.
Mr Guaidó has urged public employees to strike to undermine the government.
But Mr Maduro praised the army’s loyalty. “No-one dare touch our sacred ground or bring war to Venezuela”, he said.
In January, Mr Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim leader and he has the support of more than 50 countries including the US, UK and most Latin America nations.
As the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, he invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing that Mr Maduro’s re-election last year was illegitimate.
But Mr Maduro – who is backed by Russia, China and the leaders of Venezuela’s military – has refused to cede power.
The president dismissed a claim by US defence secretary Mike Pompeo that he had been ready to flee the country, and accused the US of directing an attempted coup.
On Wednesday, both pro- and anti-government supporters held demonstrations in Caracas that were initially peaceful.
There were reports of gunfire in the city, and a local NGO, the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, said Jurubith Rausseo, 27, had been shot dead during a rally in the opposition stronghold of Altamira.
At least 46 people were injured in clashes between opposition supporters and the security forces.