Rogue helicopter cop resurfaces in Venezuela video

(CNN)The renegade Venezuelan cop who apparently stole a police chopper and used it to strafe government buildings in Caracas last month has shown up again on video, accusing President Nicolas Maduro of being an “assassin.”

In the newly-posted video, Oscar Perez, an officer in the country’s investigative police force, delivered a statement saying, “We are not assassins, like you, Mr. Nicolas Maduro; Like you, Diosdado Cabello, who every day bring sorrow to Venezuelan homes.”
Cabello is the vice president of Maduro’s party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV.
    In the video uploaded to YouTube, Perez stands in front of the Venezuelan flag and says the assault on June 27 went “perfectly” to plan.
    “We want to clarify that the actions taken on the 27 (June) were perfectly achieved in the first phase where we only damaged structures such as the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court. We had no collateral damage because that was the plan, we are not assassins,” unlike, he asserts, Maduro and his deputy.
    On that day, the helicopter circled above the city as its occupants attacked the buildings with grenades and gunfire. No one was injured, however the attack was seen as a dramatic escalation of the months-long crisis engulfing Maduro’s regime.
    Perez claimed in the taped statement to be in Caracas, but CNN cannot confirm his location.
    Venezuela has asked Interpol to issue a red notice for Perez, according to Nstor Luis Reverol, the county’s minister of interior, justice and peace. A red notice alerts authorities in other countries, including border officials, that someone is wanted.
    The helicopter was found by the Venezuelan Air Force in a clearing in a heavily-wooded area in the seaside state of Vargas, Venezuelan state news agency AVN reported, but Perez and his associates had already fled.

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    Aerial assault

    Before the attack began, Perez appeared in a video online saying an operation was underway to seize democracy back from Venezuela’s “criminal government.”
    Flanked by a group of armed men in military fatigues and balaclavas, Perez claimed to be speaking on behalf of a coalition of military, police officers and civil officials.
    Maduro condemned the attack as an attempted coup, saying “terrorists” were behind the offensive and that an operation was underway to track the perpetrators down. They remain at large.

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    Months of chaos

    Venezuela is in the throes of a political and humanitarian crisis which has brought thousands of people onto the streets in mass protests demanding a change of government.
    The country’s Independence Day, July 5, was marred by an attack on the opposition-controlled National Assembly in Caracas by Maduro’s supporters, who stormed the building armed with stones, sticks and pipes and attacked members of the opposition.

      Clashes at Venezuelan National Assembly

    At least seven legislative employees and five lawmakers were injured, according to National Assembly President Julio Borges.
    Soaring inflation and widespread shortages of medicines, food and other essentials have infuriated many people, who are struggling to afford even basic necessities.
    Under former President Hugo Chavez, who was Maduro’s mentor, oil revenue fueled Venezuela’s economy. However, falling oil prices have made state subsidies unsustainable.
    Anti-government protesters want Maduro to step down, accusing him of eroding democracy.
    Maduro, meanwhile, has sent the Venezuelan military onto the streets to maintain order, leading to deadly clashes. At least 86 people have died in the unrest.
    The government has been accused of intimidating and restricting the media, taking CNN en Espaol off the air. It tightly controls visas for foreign journalists including CNN, arresting those who report from inside the country without proper permits.

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