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Country Risk

Venezuelan military high commanders support Maduro but armed forces’ cohesion to be tested by humanitarian aid arrival

21 February 2019

Defence minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, accompanied by the entire military high command, affirmed on 19 February their unwavering support for President Nicolás Maduro's government. Their statement followed a speech by US President Donald Trump in Florida the day before, in which he warned that the Venezuelan military stand to lose everything if they continued supporting Maduro.

  • Despite the high military command's affirmation of loyalty, there are indicators of discontent among mid-ranking officers emerging. Diosdado Cabello, who is second in command after Maduro and head of the National Constituent Assembly, criticised on 19 February officers who think that they would obtain any protection by meeting Juan Guaidó, urging them to stand by Maduro or decide whether they should become "traitors".

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