Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has called on the population to participate in the “biggest march” in Venezuelan history on Wednesday in an effort to bring down Nicolas Maduro.
Guaido said Tuesday he had begun the “final phase” of his plan to overthrow the incumbent president.
While traveling in front of an air base in Caracas, he said that Maduro no longer had the support of the army and asked the soldiers to “continue” efforts to oust him from power.
There is no indication yet that the generals have changed sides. And Maduro appeared Tuesday night on public television alongside the Minister of Defense, Vladimir Padrino. “Their plan failed, their appeal failed, because Venezuela wants peace,” said the head of state.
More than a hundred people were injured on Tuesday during clashes between opposition supporters and security forces.
If a relative calm was found at the end of the day, Guaido called on Venezuelans not to ease the pressure.
“We continue today,” he tweeted early Wednesday morning. “We will move forward with more strength than ever.”
“Venezuela has the opportunity to peacefully rebel against a tyrant withdrawn on himself,” he wrote earlier on social networks.
“WAR OF INFORMATION”
Guaido has come up against a wall since he was recognized in January as the legitimate president of Venezuela by most Western countries, led by the United States, and by several of Venezuela’s neighbors, such as Brazil and Colombia.
Besides the army, Maduro can count on the support of Russia, China, Cuba or Turkey.
Moscow denied Wednesday that it had intervened to dissuade the Venezuelan president from leaving his country for Havana, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN on Tuesday.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, accused Washington of waging an “information war”.
Prior to Pompeo’s intervention, the White House National Security Advisor, John Bolton, assured that three of the Maduro regime’s top members – the Minister of Defense, the Chief of the National Guard and the President of the Court supreme – had begun discussions with the opposition and were ready to support a peaceful alternation of power.
Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, however, reaffirmed his support for Maduro by appearing alongside him on television. He promised that the army would continue to defend the Constitution and the “legitimate authorities”.
Maduro has urged his supporters to come out en masse in the streets on Wednesday against Venezuela’s “unprecedented assault and coup attempt”.