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Neighbors rally behind retired Venezuelan general in armed standoff with security forces

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    Retired Venezuelan Army Gen. Angel Vivas, armed and wearing a flak jacket, walks around his home in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. President Nicolas Maduro ordered on Saturday the arrest and investigation of the retired general for his statements on YouTube and Twitter. Maduro said Vivas is instigating violence at a time when two weeks of anti-government protests have left 10 dead and over 100 wounded. Vivas became an opponent of the Venezuelan government since his 2007 resignation as director of the Ministry of Defense Engineering for his opposition to the military's adoption of the slogan "Fatherland, socialism or death, we shall overcome", created in Cuba. (AP Photo/Juan Manuel Hernandez) (The Associated Press)

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    Retired Venezuelan Army Gen. Angel Vivas, armed and wearing a flak jacket, walks on his property in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. President Nicolas Maduro ordered on Saturday the arrest and investigation of the retired general for his statements on YouTube and Twitter. Maduro said Vivas is instigating violence at a time when two weeks of anti-government protests have left 10 dead and over 100 wounded. Vivas has been an opponent of the Venezuelan government since his 2007 resignation as director of the Ministry of Defense Engineering, due to the military's adoption of the slogan "Fatherland, socialism or death, we shall overcome," created in Cuba. (AP Photo/Juan Manuel Hernandez) (The Associated Press)

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    Retired Venezuelan Army Gen. Angel Vivas, top right, stands armed inside his residence as military intelligence officers stand outside his home in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. President Nicolas Maduro ordered on Saturday the arrest and investigation of the retired general for his statements on YouTube and Twitter. Maduro said Vivas is instigating violence at a time when two weeks of anti-government protests have left 10 dead and over 100 wounded. Vivas has been an opponent of the Venezuelan government since his 2007 resignation as director of the Ministry of Defense Engineering, due to the military's adoption of the slogan "Fatherland, socialism or death, we shall overcome," created in Cuba. (AP Photo/Juan Manuel Hernandez) (The Associated Press)

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    EDS. NOTE OBSCENE GESTURE - Neighbors of retired Army Gen. Angel Vivas force security agents to leave the neighborhood after they failed to arrest him at his home in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. President Nicolas Maduro ordered on Saturday the arrest and investigation of the retired general for his statements on YouTube and Twitter. Maduro said Vivas is instigating violence at a time when two weeks of anti-government protests have left 10 dead and over 100 wounded. Vivas has been an opponent of the Venezuelan government since his 2007 resignation as director of the Ministry of Defense Engineering, due to the military's adoption of the slogan "Fatherland, socialism or death, we shall overcome," created in Cuba. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano) (The Associated Press)

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    Neighbors of retired Army Gen. Angel Vivas gather outside his home to try to stop security agents from arresting him in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. President Nicolas Maduro ordered on Saturday the arrest and investigation of the retired general for his statements on YouTube and Twitter. Maduro said Vivas is instigating violence at a time when two weeks of anti-government protests have left 10 dead and over 100 wounded. Vivas has been an opponent of the Venezuelan government since his 2007 resignation as director of the Ministry of Defense Engineering, due to the military's adoption of the slogan "Fatherland, socialism or death, we shall overcome," created in Cuba. (AP Photo/Juan Manuel Hernandez) (The Associated Press)

One of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's most outspoken critics has become the latest rally cry for opposition protesters after engaging in an armed standoff with security forces.

Retired army Gen. Angel Vivas sported a flak jacket, assault rifle and handgun Sunday as he defiantly addressed dozens of neighbors from the balcony of his home in eastern Caracas.

Supporters rushed to his defense after he announced to his 100,000-plus followers on Twitter that a group of "Cuban and Venezuelan henchmen" had come looking for him. The crowd forced the officers to move away.

Maduro has ordered Vivas' arrest for allegedly encouraging students to stretch wire across streets where they've set up barricades in recent weeks. The president blames the apparent booby trap for the death of a government supporter.