02 May, 2019
Also on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro had been prepared to leave the country on Tuesday morning, headed for Havana in the face of anti-government protests, but reversed his plan after Russian Federation intervened.
Abrams said USA officials believed such a step would galvanize public support for Guaido. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also denied the United States claims, telling CNN that "Washington tried its best to demoralize the Venezuelan army and now used fakes as a part of information war".
National Security Adviser John Bolton said that those who stayed with Maduro would "go down with the ship".
People react to tear gas near the Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda Airbase "La Carlota", in Caracas, Venezuela, April 30, 2019.
Viewers of the progressive cable news network MSNBC were stunned to hear a justification for 2nd Amendment gun rights after violence broke out in Venezuela by the government against their unarmed citizenry.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido appeared alongside armed, uniformed men on Tuesday in his strongest call yet to the military to abandon President Nicolas Maduro, a day before planned mass protests aimed at toppling the socialist leader.
Guaido had been immediately backed by the United States, where President Donald Trump said in a tweet Washington was standing behind the Venezuelan people and their "freedom".
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Russia, Iran, China, and Cuba are among countries supporting Maduro, who started a second term in January following a May 2018 election marred by an opposition boycott and claims of vote-rigging, leading to mass street protests.
Of the Cubans, Pompeo said "it is unacceptable that they are protecting this thug".
It was by far the most serious challenge yet to Maduro's rule and threatened to engulf the oil-rich nation in violence after months of mostly peaceful protests led by Guaido since he declared himself interim president with the backing of the US and dozens of other countries.
Padrino said in a broadcast that the armed forces would continue to defend the constitution and "legitimate authorities", and that military bases were operating as normal.
Former Vice President Joe Biden backed Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó on Tuesday afternoon, who is fighting to gain control of the country. "They are very actively collaborating", said Mark Weisbrot, who is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington and has called for a negotiated end to the political crisis.
Lopez, seen with Guaido, appeared to have left his home for the first time since he was placed under house arrest in 2017, after three years in jail.
In the televised address, Maduro also made public the appointment of Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez as the head of the Sebin intelligence agency.
Maduro's leftist Latin American allies Bolivia and Cuba also condemned Guaido.