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‘United as never before’: Maduro leads military march, thanks army for loyalty (PHOTOS)

‘United as never before’: Maduro leads military march, thanks army for loyalty (PHOTOS)
Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro thanked his country’s armed forces for remaining loyal in the face of a failed opposition coup plot, holding a parade in their honor.

Addressing a crowd of some 4,000 troops of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) prior to the march, the president said the military made history in repelling the uprising.

“The Bolivarian National Armed Forces has given the world a historical lesson,” Maduro told the troops at Fort Tiuna in Caracas on Thursday.

Maduro took part in chants with the soldiers, lending the rally an overall festive atmosphere.

“At this moment in Venezuela there is an Armed Force consistently loyal, cohesive and united as never before, defeating attempted coup plotters who sell themselves for Washington dollars,” he said.

FANB commander of strategic operations Remigio Ceballos also spoke to the soldiers, echoing the words of the president and pledging his loyalty.

Maduro concluded the rally with a popular party slogan: “Always loyal, never traitors!”

After the early morning address at Fort Tiuna the president led a military parade, billed on state media as a “march to reaffirm the absolute loyalty of the armed forces.”

The troops marched en masse down the streets of Caracas flying the red banners of the ruling PSUV party, with Maduro out in front.

Earlier in the day Maduro denounced the opposition coup plotters as “traitors,” and accused them of trying to purchase military defections “as if we were mercenaries.”

US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido on Tuesday attempted to launch a national uprising to unseat Maduro from power. Guaido failed to persuade widespread defections in the military, and the coup plot fizzed after a day-and-a-half of demonstrations.

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