US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Trump administration backs Venezuelan congressional leader Juan Guaido in his call for a military uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.
Pompeo says in a tweet that the US "fully supports" Guaido's call for the start of "Operacion Libertad."
He says the US stands with the Venezuelan people "in their quest for freedom and democracy."
He says democracy cannot be defeated.
The Trump administration has led calls for countries to recognize Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader since January.
Earlier, Guaidó took to the streets with activist Leopoldo Lopez and a small contingent of heavily armed troops in a bold and risky call for the military to rise up and oust Maduro.