In 1992, Ruben Ávila helped lead the Venezuelan revolutionary’s coup attempt. In a rare interview he defends Nicolás Maduro and the course Chávez set

Ruben Ávila – an idealist raised on Marxist theory and stern military discipline – proudly followed the call of army paratrooper Hugo Chávez when he launched a coup d’etat in 1992 to try to oust a president they considered illegitimate.

It was Ávila who led the assault on the presidential palace, boldly driving a small tank up the steps, in an incident which provided an iconic image of the ultimately failed coup attempt against president Carlos Andrés Pérez.

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