On Tuesday, the Venezuelan Supreme Court has been attacked using a stolen police helicopter while the building was packed with people. The country's President Nicholas Maduro described the attackers as terrorists, adding that the attack was an attempt to topple him from power.

Attempted coup

The attack and the resulting battle between security forces and the assailants took occurred as President Maduro was addressing pro-government journalists during a live function on state television. A few hours after the helicopter attack, Maduro told the journalists that the attackers had attacked the court with grenades.

Maduro added that Venezuela's air forces had been activated. According to Maduro, one of the grenades failed to detonate, preventing loss of life. Swinging between anger and calmness, Maduro said that the attack could have led to mass casualties.

Pictures of a blue police chopper carrying an anti-Venezuela government banner appeared were spread on social media sites. The images appeared at the same time as a video in which the pilot urged the people of Venezuela to fight against President Maduro's tyranny. Identified as Oscar Perez, the pilot is quoted asking Venezuelans to join a coalition of members of the country's security forces to oust Maduro. Reading from a statement while flanked by four people dressed in military attire, the pilot said that the people of Venezuela would either be judged tomorrow by their conscience and the people.

The statement added that Venezuelans also had the option of choosing to free themselves immediately from Maduro's 'corrupt' government.

American plot

A few hours after the attack, Venezuela's information minister Ernesto Villegas read a statement in which he accused the helicopter of firing 15 shots against the interior ministry.

At the time of the assault, the Interior Ministry was holding a function in which 80 people were in attendance. After attacking the ministry, the helicopter then hopped the short distance to the Supreme Court. According to Villegas, the helicopter launched what he described as four Israeli-made grenades. The assailants hurled two of the grenades at Venezuelan national guardsmen protecting the Supreme Court building.

Venezuela's Supreme Court President said that no one was injured during the attack. The are was still being assessed to determine the extent of the damage. Security forces had been mobilized to track and arrest the pilot. The Venezuelan government is accusing him of working under the tutelage of the CIA and the United States Embassy based in Caracas. Venezuelan security forces also hope to recover the helicopter that was used in the attack.

Constitutional changes

However, many opponents of the Venezuelan President took to social media to accuse him of having orchestrated the attack. According to Maduro's critics, he wants to use the attack as a justification of a crackdown against people who are opposed to his plans to change the Venezuelan constitution. The country has been beset by anti-government protests in the past three months. The demonstrations have led to the deaths of approximately seventy-five people. Hundreds have suffered injuries.