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Pro-Guaidó protestors run as tear gas is fired in Caracas. Photo: Rafael Briceno/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on CNN that the U.S. understands that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had a "plane on the tarmac" during today's opposition-led uprising, but that "the Russians indicated he should stay."

Context: Pompeo said Maduro "was headed for Havana" before being convinced by the Russians to stay in Caracas. Juan Guaidó, whom the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela's legitimate leader, called on the military this morning to rise up and topple Maduro. There were clashes in Caracas, but Maduro remains in power as nightfall approaches.

This is the highest U.S. rhetoric has climbed during the three-month power struggle between Maduro and Guaidó.

  • President Trump targeted Cuba in a tweet this afternoon, threatening a "full and complete embargo" on the island if Cuban troops continue to support Maduro.
  • Earlier this afternoon, national security adviser John Bolton named individual leaders in the Maduro regime, calling on them to defect.
  • Pompeo would not say whether Trump had directly asked Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sent Russian troops to Venezuela last month, to stop supporting the regime.

The other side: In a televised address Tuesday night, Maduro denied he'd planned to leave Venezuela.

Go deeper

Charter schools boomed during the pandemic

Expand chart
Data: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools; Map: Sara Wise/Axios

Charter schools picked off hundreds of thousands of public school students across the U.S. during the pandemic, according to a new analysis from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Why it matters: The pandemic has weakened America's public education system, as Zoom classes, teacher fatigue and student disengagement take their toll. And that hobbled system is shedding students to charter schools, private schools and homeschooling.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues New York Times and his niece over tax report

Former President Trump hosting a boxing match in Hollywood, Florida on Sept. 11. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece Mary Trump on Tuesday over the news outlet's 2018 reporting on his tax records, the Daily Beast first reported.

Details: The suit, filed in New York's Dutchess County, alleges NYT journalists "engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records" and that they "convinced" Mary Trump to "smuggle records out of her attorney's office and turn them over to The Times."

Brazil's health minister tests positive for COVID during UN summit in N.Y.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga in Brasilia, Brazil, in May. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queirog has tested positive for COVID-19 while in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he confirmed Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Hours earlier, Queirog had accompanied Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the UNGA. The Biden administration expressed concern last week that the gathering of world leaders could become a coronavirus "superspreader event."