Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro marches with the military and thanks them for 'demonstrating to the world ... that the armed forces are as ...united as ever.'
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro marched along with the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) early Thursday morning thanking the military for remaining united in the front of Tuesday’s attempted coup and protecting the nation’s peace and democracy.
During his speech to the army, Maduro said, "The FANB has demonstrated to the world a historic lesson, that in Venezuela the armed forces are cohesive and united as ever, defeating attempted coup plotters who sell themselves to Washington’s dollars," said the head of state.
The president added that right-wing sectors are trying to impose a government through the use of U.S.-backed weapons.
On Tuesday a small group of soldiers tried to trick others into participating in a failed coup attempted on the Maduro administration. At the time, Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino described the situation as "an attempted coup d'état of very small proportion" on part of Guaido and his far-right allies where they "tricked a group of (military) men (into) hijacking national guard vehicles of our national guard to commit a terrorist act."
At the time U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his government “fully supports” what both the far-right and the U.S. have dubbed as “Operation Liberty”—a takeover of the Venezuelan government to install Juan Guaido as leader. Guaido, was nearly unknown within the country when he proclaimed himself interim president back in January. Despite strong backing from U.S. warhawks he continues to fail to take the reigns.
Maduro reiterated to the crowd of soldiers Thursday that the future of Venezuela is not war, but peace and unity. He told the group they are writing an admirable history where the world admires them for their ability to resist and defend the nation’s rule of law. The president tweeted: “In a military march together with our always dignified and faithful officials #FANB ¡Long live the homeland!”
The president said they are combatting imperialism and stressed that the “coup plotters must be stopped, today loyalty is put to the test."
Defense Minister Padrino said that the military’s honor is far superior to the opposition’s that relies on terror and violence.
"We congratulate the FANB's position to defeat the attempted coup and ratify our loyalty to the country and the constitution that our Supreme Commander taught us to defend to the teeth."
During the failed coup, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton tried again to threaten and bribe Padrino, Presidential Guard Commander Ivan Hernandez, and Supreme Justice President Maikel Moreno to support the overthrow by promising them special favors.
“Your time is up. This is your last chance. Accept Interim President Guaido’s amnesty, protect the Constitution, and remove Maduro, and we will take you off our sanctions list. Stay with Maduro, and go down with the ship,” said Bolton Tuesday.
The president reminded the FANB Thursday about the several failed coup attempts on the Bolivarian government that began back in 2002 with President Hugo Chávez, and have always been defeated. "They have not been able or will be able to do away with us under any circumstances," said Maduro.
As U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration continue to openly admit they are trying to take down another sovereign government, Trump said Wednesday of Venezuela: "We are doing everything that can be done before reaching the last step [military intervention]. There are people who want us to take the last step. But we have many options open."