CARACAS – Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said on Friday that the two men who led last weekend’s failed assault on a military base were captured in Caracas.
Former National Guard Capt. Juan Caguaripano Scott and active-duty Lt. Yefferson Garcia Dos Ramos were the “material and intellectual authors of the paramilitary and terrorist assault,” Padrino Lopez said on Twitter.
“This capture was a heavy blow to the fascist terrorism that the Venezuelan right has put into practice in recent months,” the minister said, vowing “exemplary punishment” for all those who take up arms against the military.
Around 20 people took part in last Sunday’s assault on the 41st Armored Brigade in Fort Paramacay, a base in the north central city of Valencia.
In a video released at the time of the attack, Caguaripano said that he was leading an uprising against leftist President Nicolas Maduro’s administration “to restore the constitutional order.”
Caguaripano went on to say that he was “in rebellion” against “Nicolas Maduro’s murderous tyranny.”
Two of the attackers were killed by soldiers and seven others captured.
The uprising came a week after an election was held for the National Constituent Assembly, a body created by Maduro to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution.
Maduro contends that the assembly is necessary to restore order in oil-rich Venezuela, which has been racked by near-daily protests and a deep economic crisis, but the president’s opponents say it is merely a cynical ploy to buy time until elections scheduled for October 2018.
Venezuela has been racked since April 1 by violent protests that have left more than 120 dead, nearly 2,000 injured and 5,000 arrested.