Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro clung to power Thursday, calling on the country's armed forces to oppose "any coup plotter" after opposition leader Juan Guaido failed to win defections from military leaders.
After two days of massive street demonstrations against his government, the embattled Maduro said at a televised event with the military high command, "Yes, we are in combat; keep morale high in this fight to disarm any traitor, any coup plotter."
Guaido, supported by a small contingent of defecting security forces, earlier in the week called for a massive uprising against Maduro. Thousands of people rallied in the streets of the capital, Caracas, on Tuesday and Wednesday, with some hurling rocks at security forces, who occasionally fired back with live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas. Four people were killed in the skirmishes, and dozens were injured.
However, there appeared to be no mass defections of military leaders to Guaido, the National Assembly leader who declared himself as the country's interim president in January and has been recognized by the United States and about 50 other countries as the legitimate leader of the South American nation.
Guaido said staggered industrial action would start Thursday, leading to a general strike. But the streets of Caracas were calm.
Source : VOA