Venezuela’s defense forces stand behind President Nicolas Maduro, Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino has said, after opposition leader Juan Guaido claimed he had military backing in his attempt to oust the country’s chief.
Writing on Twitter in reference to a video Guaido posted on his own feed, flanked by men in military uniform Padrino said: “The FANB [Venezuela Armed Forces] stands firm in defense of the National Constitution and its legitimate authorities. All the military units deployed in the eight Integral Defense Regions report normalcy in their barracks and military bases, under the command of their natural commanders.”
He added that the defense force “reject this coup movement that aims to fill the country with violence” and stated the “pseudo political leaders”fronting “this subversive movement have used troops and police with weapons of war on a public road in the city to create anxiety and terror”,calling them “cowards”.
He finished with a rousing “Always loyal, Traitors never!”
In his video, Guaido had said he was at the Caracas air base La Carlota, and Lopez said he had been freed by troops supporting Guaido.
“The national armed forces have taken the correct decision,and they are counting on the support of the Venezuelan people,” Guaido said in the video.
Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez tweeted that Venezuela’s government was confronting a small group of “military traitors” seeking to promote a coup.