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Venezuelan Opposition Leader Guaidó, with Soldiers, Announces ‘Final Phase’ against President Maduro

April 30, 2019

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó appeared early Tuesday to be staging a military-backed challenge to President Nicolás Maduro, issuing a video with troops that he said was recorded at a base in Caracas and urging other soldiers to join the final stage of “Operation Liberty” meant to force the socialist leader from power.

“People of Venezuela, the end of usurpation has arrived,” Guaidó said. “At this moment, I am with the main military units of our armed forces, starting the final phase of Operation Liberty. People of Venezuela, we will go to the street with the armed forces to continue taking the streets until we consolidate the end of usurpation, which is already irreversible.”...

Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the New York-based Americas Society and Council of the Americas, said Guaidó’s action was a “bold, dramatic effort to force the issue, recapture initiative and require the Maduro regime to act.”

He said that just the fact that López was at large could be a big challenge for the government.

“The regime is afraid of López, which is why they have kept him under arrest,” Farnsworth said. “He is Guaidó’s patron and would be a key figure in a free Venezuela. ‎ Springing him from arrest and engaging directly with the military will present the regime with a real dilemma: Let him remain free in defiance of the regime to rally popular support, or attempt to jail him again, which the people may very well resist.”...

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