Ramon Rangel, a Venezuelan Air Force General, has asked military officers to “rise up”. In a YouTube video uploaded over the weekend, Rangel expressed his concerns of Venezuela permanently becoming a communist dictatorship controlled by Maduro’s allies in Cuba.
“We have to find a way to get rid of the fear, to go out into the streets, to protest, and to seek a military union to change this political system.”
The Effects on Venezuela’s Crisis
If Rangel is telling the truth about his identity, it can only spell bad news for the Maduro regime. A general asking for an uprising by the people is a significant blow to a regime troubled with wavering loyalty by its highest officials. However, former military members, who had the audacity of betraying the Chavist regime, were faced with either fleeing the country or facing certain death. Rangel’s courage to speak up against Venezuela’s oppressive regime is a sign that Maduro’s power is slowly decaying. Until we see “more action and less talk”, it’s hard to measure if his speech will have any real impact in this ongoing battle for the control of Venezuela.
Reactions to Rangel’s Betrayal
After Rangel’s speech on YouTube, an Air Force Commander named Pedro Juliac tweeted a picture of Rangel on Sunday with text sprawled across it that reads, “traitor to the Venezuelan people and the revolution.” According to closed sources, Rangel is a former air force officer who deserted Maduro’s army and fled to Colombia sometime in April.
Wait, Where’s Juan?
While Rangel’s speech made it very clear that he is against Maduro’s tight rule, he never once backed Juan Guaidó during his YouTube video. Does this mean that the revolution has outgrown Guaidó after his failed attempt at igniting a revolution on April 30th? Is Guaidó still considered the leader of the Venezuelan revolution against this totalitarian state? All of this remains to be seen in the coming months as the current state of affairs unfolds in Venezuela. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure: the political problems in this Latin American nation are far from over.
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