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Maduro remains in power in Venezuela only due to army's support, says opposition leader

Juan Guaido did not name the approximate date when the "power grab" will end in Venezuela
 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
© AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro preserves the position of the head of state only because of support from the army, in which some servicemen are dissatisfied with the current authorities, leader of the Venezuelan opposition Juan Guaido told Agencia EFE on Monday.

"The armed forces support the dictator," Guaido noted. However, servicemen appear in the army who "turn their back" on Maduro, and 160 servicemen were arrested and "tortured" for their views which are undesirable for the authorities, the opposition leader affirmed.

Guaido said that "80% of the military staff are dissatisfied with the current regime." However, the National Bolivarian Armed Forces preserve loyalty to Maduro’s government, which the opposition leader regards as the main obstacle to the end of the "power grab" in Venezuela. The politician admitted that it remains an obstacle for him to receive all powers of interim president.

Guaido did not name the approximate date when the "power grab" will end in Venezuela. He noted that the opposition will continue to work to organize social protests, extend support for international community, attract the armed forces to its side and achieve unity in the political opposition.

On January 23, Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him. Incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

Several European countries delivered the ultimatum to hold an early presidential election and after its expiration recognized Guaido as interim president. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.