Venezuelan Army Defectors Coordinate Over WhatsApp; Ask Trump For “Freedom” Weapons

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Wed, 01/30/2019

Defectors from Venezuela’s army who are now loyal to self-declared president Juan Guaidó have called on the Trump administration to arm them in what they refer to as their quest for “freedom,” and are strongly opposed to the United States conducting a broad military intervention.

Two former soldiers, Carlos Guillen Martinez and Josue Hidalgo Azuaje, who live outside the country, told CNN they are in contact with hundreds of willing defectors who want US military assistance in their revolt against the Maduro regime.

“As Venezuelan soldiers, we are making a request to the US to support us, in logistical terms, with communication, with weapons, so we can realize Venezuelan freedom,” Guillen Martinez told CNN.

Hidalgo Azuaje said: “We’re not saying that we need only US support, but also Brazil, Colombia, Peru, all brother countries, that are against this dictatorship.”

The appeal came as US national security advisor John Bolton on Sunday warned the Maduro government that violence against Venezuela’s political opposition—or against its leader and self-declared president Juan Guaidó—would be met with stern reprisals.

Bolton also appealed to the Venezuelan military to assist in the smooth transition of power from Maduro to Guaidó, whom the US has recognized as the legitimate head of state.

American officials have repeatedly warned that no options are off the table, in terms of US intervention. -CNN

Over a dozen defectors who appeared in one recent broadcast say that devastating hyperinflation, food scarcity and economic malfeasance have many rank and file soldiers enraged.

The soldiers say that despite their efforts, they are seeing limited success in inspiring a true military revolt. On January 21 a military unit was arrested after they rose up against the Maduro government.

Martinez and Azuaje showed CNN their WhatsApp chat groups, which they say are connected to “thousands of angry junior officers and soldiers.” They claim to be working to bring several factions of disgruntled soldiers into a cohesive group.

They flatly reject any suggestion of a broader US military intervention in support of Guaidó. “We do not want a foreign government [to] invade our country,” Hidalgo Azuaje said. “If we need an incursion, it has to be by Venezuelan soldiers who really want to free Venezuela.” -CNN

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