Venezuela's Juan Guaidó says he overestimated military support

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06 May, 2019

Opposition leader Juan Guaido took his quest to win over Venezuela's troops back to the streets, calling his supporters to participate in an outreach to soldiers outside military installations across the country.

In the televised address, mandatory on all Venezuelan TV channels, Maduro appeared alongside his defense minister, Vladimir Padrino, and among more than 5,000 troops.

Maduro told the military on Saturday that they needed to be "ready to defend the homeland with weapons in your hands if one day the United States empire dares to touch this territory, this sacred earth".

Maduro accuses the US government of trying to foment a "coup" against him by backing opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who denounces Maduro as an illegitimate president after Venezuela's duly elected National Assembly voted him in mid-January following a fraudulent election.

Pompeo, as he has in recent days, declined to rule out a US military intervention in Venezuela.

"I trust in the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, in your loyalty, I trust you", said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

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But there was a small turnout for the marches, with participants in the hundreds, not the thousands.

The protest call by Guaido comes just days after he urged the military to rise up against Maduro.

"That's the result of dictatorship and socialism that has been imposed on people of Venezuela by Nicolas Maduro", Pence said.

Venezuela's military leadership has since reiterated its support for the government, and Maduro is standing his ground.

"I had a very good talk with President Putin", he said.

National Assembly head Guaido, 35, has branded Maduro a usurper over his controversial re-election previous year, and in January declared himself acting president, plunging Venezuela into a political crisis that deepened its already grave economic woes. The statement doesn't say if the chopper was part of the presidential delegation. He said he tried to get out of the way, and added the incident only strengthens his will. "Honestly, I don't even feel like addressing the comment because it's not an informed one, it's not an intelligent one, it's silly, it's ridiculous and it's embarrassing". "We want everyone out", he said.

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