WashPost: Venezuela's Opposition Leader Discussing Military Force to Oust Maduro

WashPost: Venezuela's Opposition Leader Discussing Military Force to Oust Maduro

The military attache of Venezuela in Washington, Colonel Jose Luis Silva, announced Saturday that he no longer recognizes Maduro as legitimate president, and urged his "military brothers" to back Guaido.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had voiced his support for Maduro in a phone call on Thursday.

The military has thus far been the most important pillar of support for leftist regime, which was ushered into power more than 20 years ago by the late Hugo Chavez. "Venezuela wants peace. and to guarantee peace, we have to be prepared", said Maduro.

Venezuela abandoned its decision to sever diplomatic ties with the USA, stating that each country agreed to keep a so-called interest section open in their respective capitals.

"Australia recognizes and supports the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, in assuming the position of interim president, in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution and until elections are held", Australia Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement on the ministry's website.

"I don't think any president of any party who is doing his or her job would be doing the job properly if they took anything off the table", he said.

Washington also accepted exiled opposition leader Carlos Vecchio as Venezuela's new charge d'affaires to the United States after he was tapped by Guaido.

Amidst its ongoing political crisis, Venezuela defused a showdown by suspending a demand that American diplomats leave the country.

Speaking at the U.N. meeting, called by the United States, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro's "socialist experiment" had caused the economy to collapse and reduced ordinary Venezuelans to rooting through dumpsters for food.

Guaido's declaration of himself as the interim president takes Venezuela into uncharted territory, with the possibility of the opposition now running a parallel government recognised overseas as legitimate but without control over state functions.

The preferred outcome, Rubio said, is that Maduro leaves office and that within 30 to 45 days, Venezuela holds a new presidential election.

More news: Guardiola "So Sorry" For Suspended Henry

Many have labelled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's second-term election win fraudulent.

Addressing soldiers in an appearance on state TV, Mr Maduro asked whether they were plotting with the "imperialist" United States, which he accused of openly leading a coup against him.

Pompeo urged nations to end financial transactions with Maduro's government, which has struggled to pay bills despite the country's oil wealth.

The State Department did not confirm the Venezuelan government's account, reiterating only that its priority remains the safety of its personnel and that it has no plans to close the embassy.

Venezuela centrist opposition leader Juan Guaidó, left, has made a claim to the presidency and called for elections as the leftist incumbent Nicolas Maduro faces massive protests against his rule across the country.

China's U.N. Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu said his government "firmly opposed" the US accusations and doesn't interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. "Do not test the United States on our resolve to protect our people".

John Bolson sent a tweet Sunday warning there would be "a significant response" to "any violence and intimidation against USA diplomatic personnel, Venezuela's democratic leader, Juan Guiado, or the National Assembly itself".

Mexico said it would still recognize Maduro as Venezuela's legitimate president and called for dialogue.

Venezuelan opposition sympathizers had been urging Guaido to assume the presidency since Maduro was inaugurated for a second term on January 10. The former union leader cruised to victory after blocking the main opposition candidates from running.

"We will continue to evaluate the situation on the ground and determine appropriate action", the official said.

Related Articles