- Title: Venezuelan helicopter pilot appears in video, vows to keep fighting
- Date: 5th July 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (FILE - MARCH 1, 2015) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEREZ, AS PILOT OF THE SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT OF VENEZUELA, STANDING IN FRONT OF A HELICOPTER
- Embargoed: 19th July 2017 15:03
- Keywords: Oscar Perez Supreme Court attack Nicolas Maduro
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA AND UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA AND UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0036OFZ3NR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Venezuelan police officer Oscar Perez, who staged a helicopter attack on government buildings in Caracas last week, appeared in an internet video early on Wednesday (July 5) vowing to continue fighting for the "liberation" of his country. Perez spoke in a video seen on YouTube, wearing a military uniform and wool cap, with a Venezuelan flag and a rifle behind him.
Perez hijacked a helicopter with an unidentified companion and flew through the city on June 27 with a banner that read "Freedom" and later opened fired and dropped grenades on the Interior Ministry and Supreme Court without causing any deaths or injuries.
President Nicolas Maduro called the attack a terrorist assault to overthrow his government. But many of his critics doubt the official version of the events, with some suggesting it may have been staged to divert attention from the country's economic and political crises.
Perez said the attack was "perfectly achieved" with no collateral damage "because it was planned, because we are not murderers like you, Mr. Nicolas Maduro." Perez staged an "emergency landing" on the Caribbean coast near Caracas following the attack, he said in the video, and had returned to the capital after hiking through the mountains that separate the two. Word of the video spread on social media. The Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Perez, who has portrayed himself as a James Bond-cum-Rambo figure on social media, is also a film actor who produced and starred in a 2015 movie about the rescue of a kidnapped businessman.
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