Venezuela: Juan Guaidó: “80 to 85 Percent of the Armed Forces Favor a Change”

Voice of America/Edited by the Diálogo Staff | 16 July 2019

Transnational Threats

Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó sings the national anthem during a gathering in Barinas, Barinas State, Venezuela, on June 1, 2019. (Photo: Yuri Cortez, AFP)

Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó reiterated the support from most members of the Armed Forces for “a change” in government, and affirmed that high commanders are those directly connected to Nicolás Maduro.

In an interview with the Venezuelan news portal Cronica Uno, Guaidó said that “there is a clear crisis, a crack in the chain of command. Some 80 to 85 percent of the National Armed Forces favors a change,” he said.

However, he said, the way to express this discontent “is what we need to figure out.” He added that he has brought up mechanisms to discuss and even make public offers of amnesty and guarantees.

 Guaidó’s team, he continued, will insist on guarantees, “probably make them more explicit,” and focus on communication. In late January, the National Assembly promoted the Act of Amnesty and Constitutional Guarantees to support service members who would move over to “the side of the Constitution.”

“In a dictatorship, we cannot directly invite service members to a meeting because they would be imprisoned, tortured, or exiled. I wish we could sit at a table with many of them to talk about the transition and create common positions,” Guaidó said during the interview.

Addressing the April 30 protests and the call on civilians and the military to “put a definite end to the usurpation” and oust Maduro, Guaidó said that there are “many more” service members than those who participated on that day.

“Some are still in their positions of command; some others are still working for Operation Liberty. But in the end, everyone is waiting to take the side of the Constitution,” he said.

According to press reports, about 25 service members who answered his call sought refuge at different embassies in the country. “They are safe,” Guaidó said.

Concerning the role of the military in the political, social, and economic Venezuelan crisis, Guaidó said that “we have never asked the military to rebel against, but rather to be on the side of the Constitution. We have asked them to answer the call of the executive's powers to hold elections while the emergency is tended to.”

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