CARACAS, Jan. 31 (Rahnuma): Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday slammed a group of military deserters which he said aimed to sow division among the country’s army.
The deserters are now “mercenaries of the Colombian oligarchy” looking to undermine the armed forces’ loyalty to the government, said Maduro.
During a visit to Tiuna Fort, the country’s main military garrison in southwestern Caracas, Maduro said the deserters “are conspiring from Colombia to divide the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB).”
Addressing some 2,000 soldiers, Maduro asked if they were willing to surrender to “imperialist” pressure, to which they answered “No.”
He called for a “military leadership for peace, to defend the Constitution.”
Venezuela is facing a political crisis, after the opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president and was recognized by the United States and some other countries.
The Venezuelan government has denounced the U.S. interference in its internal affairs.