TODAY VENEZUELA – Venezuelan leader Juan Guaido’s push for a military uprising against President Nicolas Maduro’s government Tuesday has the support of the United States, while Maduro’s backers such as Russia condemns the push as a coup.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney rejected comparisons with George W. Bush’s 2002 support for a coup against the former Venezuela leader Hugo Chavez, saying the US did not consider the current uprising to be a coup.
Various officials urged the military to stand by the country’s “legitimate institutions”, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter “Democracy cannot be defeated”.
In Colombia, President Ivan Duque called for “soldiers and the people of Venezuela to place themselves on the right side of history” and rejected Maduro as a dictator. Many Venezuelans have left for neighboring Colombia in recent years.
In Brazil, president Jair Bolsonaro echoed characterizations of Maduro as a dictator who had “enslaved” Venezuelans and said he was on the side of Guaido.
In Europe, Spain and the UK reiterated support for Guaido. German foreign minister Heiko Maas, who is in Brazil Tuesday, said Germany’s support for Guaido “had not changed”.
The European Commission, however, declined to comment on the unfolding situation but reiterated a call for “free and fair elections” and a “political and peaceful solution”.
In the Americas, Chile has reiterated support for Guaido and allowing Leopoldo Lopez and his family exile in the Chilean embassy in Caracas. Mexico, however, has not given its support to Guaido, but the more than 54 countries supporting Guaido in urging a peaceful solution.
Russia, Turkey, North Korea, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba have continued their support of Maduro and condemned the new push to oust Maduro as a military coup.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the Venezuelan opposition of trying to draw the armed forces into clashes by resorting to violence.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has long counted Maduro as a close ally in Latin America and Russia has soldiers stationed there, although Russian news agencies have said they have not been involved in the clashes.
Bolivia’s Evo Morales vigorously condemned the attempted coup in Venezuela. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel also rejected the movement as a coup.
China, for its part, though it has expressed in the past support for Maduro, is taking a moderate stance on today’s events.
Labor Day protest Mayday
Guaido has called for “the largest march in Venezuela’s history” on Wednesday, May 1, an important day in Latin America.