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Venezuela Military Brass Pledges Loyalty to Maduro, Decries Coup

  • Defense Minister Padrino won’t accept ‘imposed’ president
  • Military spoke after Guaido declared himself head of state
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Two Men Say They Are President of Venezuela

Venezuela’s top military officials took to the airwaves on Thursday to swear their support to embattled President Nicolas Maduro after the U.S. and a dozen other nations recognized his main political rival as the rightful head of state.

One by one, eight regional commanders and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez appeared on state television pledging their loyalty and denouncing a “coup” after Juan Guaido, the head of the National Assembly, declared himself president on Wednesday. While U.S. President Donald Trump, Canada and the 11 Latin American countries that make up the Lima Group supported Guaido, the defense minister said Venezuela’s security forces would never accept an “imposed” government.