Over two dozen Venezuelan soldiers stormed the Brazilian embassy in Caracas asking for asylum on Tuesday amid an uprising of some in the military ranks against Nicolás Maduro’s socialist regime.
NTN24 spoke with a Brazilian presidential source who confirmed that 25 soldiers asked for asylum in Brazil, where they would no longer be under control of the Maduro regime and its Cuban military apparatus. “There were several military requests [for asylum], yes, but we can not say how many or what rank,” the presidential source said.
The requests for asylum came as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro threw his support behind Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó, warning that the country was “enslaved by a dictator” in the form of Nicolás Maduro.
“Brazil is on the side of the people of Venezuela, President Juan Guaido and the freedom of Venezuelans,” Bolsonaro said on Twitter. “We support the freedom of this sister nation to finally live a true democracy.”
O Brasil se solidariza com o sofrido povo venezuelano escravizado por um ditador apoiado pelo PT, PSOL e alinhados ideológicos. Apoiamos a liberdade desta nação irmã para que finalmente vivam uma verdadeira democracia.
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) April 30, 2019
Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo reiterated his government’s support for a “democratic transition” and expressed a desire that the “Venezuelan military will be part of this process.”
On Tuesday morning, Guaidó uploaded a video declaring that some sections of the military had agreed to recognize him as the country’s legitimate commander-in-chief and called on people to flood the streets in a bid to bring the regime down.
“People of Venezuela, let’s take to the streets to support the end of the usurpation, which is irreversible,” he said. “The National Armed Forces have made the correct decision, they have the support of the people of Venezuela, and the backing of our constitution, they are guaranteed to be on the right side of history.”
VIDEO | Mensaje del presidente (E) Juan Guaidó desde la base aérea La Carlota en Caracas: “Pueblo de Venezuela inició el fin de la usurpación” (1/2) pic.twitter.com/inSvOCSIoj
— Centro de Comunicación Nacional (@Presidencia_VE) April 30, 2019
The announcement led many to believe that the country may be on the brink of initiating a democratic transition with various military ranks renouncing the regime and joining the opposition as people flooded the streets on support of the movement.
Violent confrontations soon broke out across Venezuela after Maduro’s forces began attacking protesters, reminiscent of the internal conflict that has waged across the country in the past few years. Around 69 people are understood to have suffered injuries from the confrontations.
🔴 Un vehículo militar atropella a varias personas donde se concentran decenas de opositores en Caracas, en Venezuela.
— 24h (@24h_tve) April 30, 2019
Maduro attempted to label Guaidó’s efforts unsuccessful Tuesday night, flanked by members of highest ranks of the military, who receive considerable perks of high salaries and other benefits. Maduro has already declared victory over the uprising, describing it as a failed “coup d’état.”
“I thank all the Venezuelan people, their bravery, courage, and conscience in the face of this attempted coup d’etat,” he wrote on Twitter. “They have shown that a mobilized people is a guarantee of tranquility for the fatherland. Venezuela is a territory of peace and independence!”
Agradezco a todo el pueblo venezolano, su valentía, coraje y conciencia frente a este intento de golpe de Estado frustrado. Han demostrado que un pueblo movilizado es garantía de tranquilidad para la Patria. ¡Venezuela es Territorio de Paz e Independencia! pic.twitter.com/CjOhzxpjH4
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 1, 2019