Flanked by commanders of the armed forces, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López said the country’s military was firmly behind President Nicolás Maduro and the constitution and warned those who were supporting Juan Guaidó’s claim to leadership that they were engaged in a “dangerous plan” that was “destined to fail.”
In a national address, López said he had been in communication with his field commanders and different branches of the military and they were unified in their support of 56-year-old Maduro.
Venezuelans have been waiting for signs of fraying in the military after Guaidó, the head of the National Assembly, swore himself in as interim president on Wednesday and called for new elections.
The United States, Canada, Brazil and Colombia, among others, have recognized Guaidó as the head of state, but analysts warn that he’ll need military support in order to effectively carry out a transition.
López called Wednesday’s actions “shameful” and accused Washington of being behind a “hybrid war” that includes sanctions, misinformation and coup plots “to justify a military intervention.”
He also said the armed forces support members of the European Union who have been advocating for a negotiated solution to the crisis.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.