Venezuela CRISIS: Military turns on Maduro as general calls for UPRISING – ‘it’s imminent’

Saturday, February 2, 2019
By Paul Martin

VENEZUELA’S armed forces have already disavowed President Nicolas Maduro and a “transition to democracy is imminent”, a high-ranking Venezuelan general has declared.

Sat, Feb 2, 2019

In the first signs that the country’s powerful military could be turning on the beleaguered leader, General Francisco Yanez of the air force’s high command branded Maduro a “dictator”. Speaking in a clip widely shared on social media, the general said he recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president. He said: “People of Venezuela, 90 percent of the armed forces of Venezuela are not with the dictator, they are with the people of Venezuela.

“Given the happenings of the last few hours, already the transition to democracy is imminent.”

The air force’s high command hit back by accusing the general of treason.

Yanez is the first active Venezuelan general to recognise Guaido as leader since he proclaimed himself president on January 23.

Maduro is clinging on to power amid a spiralling economic crisis which has led to clipping hyperinflation and widespread shortages which has forced millions to flee the country.

And while reports suggest that some 80 percent of Venezuelans disapprove of the job Maduro is doing, he is likely to remain in post as long as he retains the loyalty of the armed forces.

Earlier this week, opposition activists attempted to persuade troops to join their cause by offering “amnesty” if they disavow the president.

Some in the military are accused of corruption and serious human rights abuses and by offering a clean slate in exchange for support, the opposition hopes to shift the balance of power.

Troops were pictured burning pamphlets promising amnesty in a symbolic show of support for Maduro while the president declared the military was prepared to quash any attempted coup.

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