Says President Maduro
HAVANA TIMES — The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, reported today before a mission of foreign ministers of the Union of South American Nations (Unsaur) that his government had foiled a coup plot, with the arrest last night of three air force generals, reported dpa.
The foreign ministers arrived to accompany the efforts of dialogue and peace proposed by Maduro, to end the anti-government protests that started last month and have left dozens dead and hundreds of wounded.
In welcoming the foreign ministers of UNASUR at the seat of government, Maduro said his administration faces a continuing coup plan and that last night three generals plotting to rise up were arrested.
“I have a surprise for you here, last night three air force generals who were under investigation were arrested thanks to the powerful moral of our Armed Forces. Three generals who sought to lead the Air Force against the legitimately constituted government and who will now be brought before the courts,” he said.
Once again Maduro blamed the opposition for the violence in the country to promote chaos and destabilization with the protests against the government, which after six weeks have left 35 dead and hundreds injured.
He added that the opposition has abandoned the electoral path it took on from 2006, during the tenure of late President Hugo Chavez, and allowed itself to be “dragged towards a shortcut” and proof of this is the rebel movement in the Armed Forces.
Maduro said that one of the detained generals has “links” with sectors of the opposition, who claimed that this week was “crucial” to the political situation in the country.
“Unfortunately the career of these officers is for having listened to advice from those who want to destroy democracy, selling the idea of popular discontent. Where isn’t there discontent? There will always be protests, struggles, a strike, especially with the democracy existing in the region. In the case of Venezuela there are guarantees for the right to political and electoral struggle,” he said.
Maduro said that a plan to destabilize the country and justify a coup is underway in Venezuela, “with more homicides and destabilization” planned.
“If Venezuela was destabilized, rest assured, we will never surrender, we would fight alongside with the social, military and political forces, but Latin America, the Caribbean, South America would live a process of very serious destabilization. That’s why it is important that UNASUR is active to accompany the democratic process in our countries and help strengthen the climate of peace, “he added.
Maduro said he hopes the Unasur delegation will support the truth commission created by the National Assembly (Congress), in which the opposition is not participating, for the investigation of this “ongoing coup attempt against Venezuela.”
Maduro noted that his government requested the visit of the Unasur political commission earlier this month in Chile, considering that it was necessary for the group to condemn the plots against his government.
The Unasur mission to Caracas is comprised of the foreign ministers of Argentina, Hector Timerman, Bolivia, David Choquehuanca, Brazil, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Colombia, María Ángela Holguín, Ecuador, Ricardo Patiño Aroca, Suriname, Winston Lackin, and Uruguay, Luis Almagro, in addition to the Venezuelan Elias Jaua.