General Vladimir Padrino in a statement from the ministry and in the company of the military leadership said that the United States and other governments are executing a war against Venezuela. "I warn the people that there is a coup underway against our democracy and our president Nicolas Maduro," Padrino said during the press conference. "As soldiers, we work for peace and not for war."
In his message broadcast on official television, Padrino said they would not recognize "a person" who proclaimed himself head of state referring to opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido. "Those of us who lived through the coup of 2002 have it etched into our minds, we never thought we'd see that again, but we saw it yesterday."
In an unconstitutional act, Juan Guaido, the president of the National Assembly, a body that has no legal authority since it is considered to be in judicial contempt, swore himself as president Wednesday morning.
While the United States, Canada, and their right-wing government recognized Guaido as "president," breaking international law, Russia, China, Turkey, Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico and other progressive countries in the Global South expressed their support for the constitutional and legitimate president of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro.
On Wednesday, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) urged the Prosecutor's Office to investigate members of the National Assembly (AN), which has been in contempt of court since 2016, for the usurping the powers of the executive.
Maduro, in response to the U.S., broke all diplomatic and political relations with the Donald Trump government and gave U.S. officials 72 hours to leave the country.