Demonstrators clashed with police on the streets of the Venezuelan capital Tuesday, spurred by opposition leader Juan Guaido's call on the military to rise up against President Nicolas Maduro - who said he had defeated an attempted coup.
Several dozen armed troops accompanying Guaido clashed with soldiers supporting Maduro at a rally outside the La Carlota air base in Caracas early on Tuesday, but the incident fizzled out and did not appear to be part of an immediate attempt by the opposition to take power through military force.
"And Juan Guaido and his supporters have tried to peacefully protest", Sanders explained, "they have gathered in large numbers".
Lopez, the country's most prominent opposition activist, had been under house arrest, and his sudden appearance would seem to have required the cooperation of troops who guard him. Detained in 2014 for leading a previous round of anti-government unrest.
Tear gas was sacked at a highway overpass near the Caracas air base where Guaidó and several heavily armed soldiers with blue bands wrapped around their forearms had been standing guard.
A crowd that quickly swelled to a few thousand scurried for cover, reappearing later with Guaido at a plaza a few blocks from the disturbances. Two people were rushed to the hospital.
He appeared in a video with uniformed men, saying he had military support.
"Nerves of steel!", Maduro said on Twitter.
"It is not a coup attempt from the military".
Tensions in Venezuela have escalated since Guaido, who heads Venezuela's National Assembly, declared himself acting president on January 23, a move which was supported by the USA and many European and Latin American countries. At least one person had been shot with live ammunition. Washington's meddling in Venezuela's sovereign affairs may cause the collapse of the situation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Tuesday.
"I'm simply not going to be more specific to that", he added.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued an order on Tuesday night that barred all United States planes from entering the airspace below 26,000 feet over Venezuela as the South American country braced for a second day of political violence.
Guaido had been immediately backed by the United States, where President Donald Trump said in a tweet Washington was standing behind the Venezuelan people and their "freedom".
Other supporters said they went out to support the revolutionary process.
"Please, Mr. Pompeo, you're not being serious", he said. "With the support of the Venezuelan people and the backing of our constitution they are on the right side of history".
As events unfolded, governments from around the world expressed support for Guaido while reiterating calls to avoid violent confrontation. Others allies include Cuba, Iran and Turkey.