Nicolas Maduro responds to protests in Venezuela with military show of force

Maduro responds to protests in Caracas

Caracas, Venezuela — Thousands of Venezuelans hit the streets Wednesday afternoon, waving flags and shouting. One protester said they've had enough of an oppressive regime under President Nicolas Maduro.

These protests were peaceful, a relief after last week's mass unrest when security forces killed more than 40 people. But Maduro responded to the protests with a show of force. State TV broadcast pictures of him with his military.

His message is clear. No amount of pressure from inside or outside the country, can force him out with loyal troops. Maduro also had a specific warning for the U.S. A military intervention in Venezuela, he said, would turn into another Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Maduro's opponent, Juan Guaidó, joined protests in Caracas Wednesday afternoon. The man now recognized by the U.S. as interim president told supporters he was committed to holding free elections.

This high-stakes political standoff is getting ever more tense. On Wednesday, Maduro said he'd willing to talk with the opposition but  Guaidó didn't even bother to respond.

  • Elizabeth Palmer
    Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."