Thursday 20 June, 2019

Venezuelan military supports Maduro; Guaido offers amnesty

Venezuela's Defence Minister has spoken out in support of President Maduro and against presidential rival Juan Guaido as tensions in the South American oil-rich country continue to grow.

Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said via a Twitter post that the country's military units stand behind President Maduro after Guaido declared himself interim president at a rally involving tens of thousands of people in Caracas on January 23, 2019.

(Translation: Despair and intolerance threaten the nation's peace. The soldiers of the Fatherland do not accept a president imposed in the shadow of dark interests or self-proclaimed outside the law. The FANB defends our Constitution and is a guarantor of national sovereignty."

"Translation: I alert the people of Venezuela that a coup is being carried out against the institutions, against our democracy, against our constitution against our president Nicolas Maduro, the legitimate president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. A person raised his hand, declaring himself president of Venezuela, it is a very serious issue that threatens the rule of law, threatens the peace of all Venezuelans."

Venezuela's Aviation Command also swore allegiance to Maduro:

"The VA @mjgonzalezgomez commandant @ARB_CANB and his crew ratify the attachment to the Constitution and allegiance to our WTDC in chief @NicolasMaduro for the period 2019-2025 constitutional President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela @ArmadaFANB #LealesSiempreTraidoresNunca".

Following Guaido's declaration as interim president, Maduro has since cut ties with the US and ordered US diplomats to leave the country. 

The US, along with several South American countries, has rejected Maduro's legitimacy and has spoken out in support of Guaido.

On Thursday, the US said it would be sending approximately US$20 million in 'humanitarian aid' to Guaido in another show of force against Maduro.

Gaudio spoke to media on January 24, 2019, from an undisclosed location, saying he would consider granting amnesty to President Nicolas Maduro and his allies if they helped return Venezuela to democracy.

Guaido gave his first public comments to the Univision television network since declaring himself interim president of Venezuela.

Asked if he would offer an amnesty to Maduro, he replied: "That would have to be looked at."

He said an amnesty was on the table for anybody willing to help return Venezuela to constitutional order. 

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