In Venezuela, self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó is failing to ignite a military revolution. As a result, 25 Venezuelan soldiers who side with him fled. They now seek asylum in the Brazilian Embassy in Caracas. Knowing that their lives are at risk for defecting, they had few options. After all, betraying Maduro can carry a life sentence.
Bolsonaro Sides with Juan Guaidó
“Brazil is on the side of the people of Venezuela, President Juan Guaido and the freedom of Venezuelans. We support the freedom of this sister nation to finally live a true democracy.” – President Jair Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Bolsonaro has stated in a series of tweets that Brazil will be supporting Juan Guaidó in his quest to rid Venezuela of Maduro’s dictatorship.
Guaidó’s allies recently failed to tackle the Caracas Air Force base and garner military support. Now, Bolsonaro is welcoming the few soldiers who sided against Maduro. On April 30th, he granted political asylum to them all.
Brazil and 49 other countries around the world have already recognized Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela. They seek to remove Maduro and his loyalists from power.
Chaos in Caracas
After Guaido’s call for a revolution last Tuesday, violence flooded the streets of Venezuela. An angry group of dissidents tried to attack and invade the La Carlota Air Force base in Caracas. They chose this location due to its symbolic importance; losing a major base would do a number on the military’s morale. As a consequence, it would give Guaidó the upper hand in the conflict. As stated before, however, they ultimately failed to take it over.
— Noticias Caracol (@NoticiasCaracol) April 30, 2019
During the popular revolt, Venezuela’s armed forces shocked the entire world; they used one armored vehicle to ram over a crowd of rioters in Caracas. Rioters tried to stop the vehicle by throwing rocks at it and smashing it with sticks. Nevertheless, those attempts were futile as the military car continued to break the formation of the dissident group. In the end, Guaidó acknowledged in a series of statements that his cause failed to gather enough people to spark a power-threatening revolution against Maduro.
“We have to acknowledge that yesterday there were not enough (people), we have to insist that all the armed forces protest together. We are not asking for a confrontation”. Guaidó said on May 1st. “We are not asking for a confrontation among brothers, it’s the opposite. We just want them to be on the side of the people.”
Maduro Speaks Out
Maduro blames vandals for the chaos in the streets. He said that Guaidó’s call for a revolution last Tuesday was a futile “coup-de-etat attempt” that a puppet of imperialist countries made. Maduro posted a video to refute Guaido’s remarks about the president slowing losing his military support. In it, Venezuelan soldiers enthusiastically surround Maduro.
Toppling Maduro’s socialist regime may prove to be a bigger challenge than Guaidó was expecting. After all, it seems that most of the Venezuelan soldiers still largely support the Chavist regime.
In the April 30th conflict, more than 100 were injured, according to the Independent Venezuelan Observatory. The future of this fight between the two leaders remains unclear. All the while, countries across the globe are taking sides, with Russia, Cuba, and China showing support for Maduro.
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