HAVANA TIMES – Venezuelan Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino today rejected rumors of a possible coup d’état in the face of an alleged discontent in the barracks over the recent arrest of several officers, dpa reported.
“There cannot be a coup here, we are in the 21st century, 2018, and that belongs to the past. Attempts can take place, the empire is always conspiring and are moving puppets in Venezuela, trying to incite what is not possible, to provoke the Armed Forces; that will not happen, “he told Telesur TV.
Padrino affirmed that the Armed Forces are “cured” of dissident movements and are clear about their role.
“The Armed Forces have political maturity, a constitutional integrity of respect for human rights, respect and admiration for the participatory and protagonist democracy that we have given ourselves,” he added.
Padrino answered a question about an alleged discontent in the barracks due to the detention of several Army officers on charges of conspiracy.
Last week the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence arrested seven lieutenant colonels for an alleged plot. Days before, the government issued a decree that degraded and expelled 24 members from the Armed Forces, including the detained former defense minister Raul Baduel.
On Tuesday, Maj. Gen. Miguel Rodríguez Torres, a former interior minister, was arrested in Caracas and accused of promoting a conspiracy for a rebellion in the armed forces.
Press releases said Thursday that the former secretary of the National Defense Council (Codena), Major General Alexis López Ramírez, was detained in a new action against military officials.
They added that Lopez resigned his post last June for his disagreement with the proposal by President Nicolas Maduro to convene a Constituent Assembly.
The director of the non-governmental organization, Control Ciudadano (Citizen Control) and a specialist in military affairs, Rocio San Miguel, warned that the government faces its worst military crisis since February 1992, when as an army lieutenant colonel Hugo Chavez led a coup attempt that was defeated by forces loyal to President Carlos Andres Perez