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19 Feb, 2019 19:34

Venezuelan military rejects Trump threats, reiterates loyalty to Maduro

Venezuelan military rejects Trump threats, reiterates loyalty to Maduro

The Venezuelan military remains “obedient and subordinate” to the country’s legitimate president, Nicolas Maduro, the defense minister has said, dismissing threats by US President Donald Trump as “arrogant and senseless.”

Venezuelan officers and soldiers will remain stationed at the country’s borders to prevent any potential violations of the state’s territory, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said on Tuesday.

The military remains loyal to the country’s legitimate president and those seeking to oust him won’t have it easy, the official warned, in a thinly veiled threat to the US-backed self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaido.

Those that attempt to be president here in Venezuela ... will have to pass over our dead bodies.

Padrino's statement came in response to threats voiced by Trump on Monday that the Venezuelan military chief described as “arrogant and senseless.” The US President has openly issued an ultimatum to the country’s military, demanding that it abandon Nicolas Maduro and accept the self-proclaimed “president” Guaido and his “generous offer of amnesty.”

“You will lose everything,” Trump stated boldly. “I have a message for every official who is helping to keep Maduro in place. The eyes of the entire world are upon you today, every day and every day in the future.”

The crisis in Venezuela, which has endured years of hyperinflation and economic instability amid US sanctions, has rapidly worsened since late January, when Guaido, the National assembly leader, declared himself an “interim president” of the country. Guaido was swiftly backed by Washington, which urged Maduro to step down to allow the country undergo a supposedly “democratic transition,” led by the unelected “president.”

While a number of countries have indeed followed the US in its support for Guaido, describing that grouping as “the whole world” seems to be a bit of an overstatement. Other nations –including such major powers as China and Russia– have rejected the US-propped coup attempt in Venezuela, vowing their support to the country’s elected authorities.

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