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Venezuelan general recognizes opposition leader Guaido as president

2019-02-02 21:17
A high-ranking Venezuelan air force general said he had disavowed President Nicolas Maduro and now recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim head-of-state, according to a video circulating on Twitter on Saturday (February 2). In the video, General Francisco Yanez, a member of the air force's high command, called on other members of the military to defect. The high command's web page lists him, along with a photo, as the air force's head of strategic planning. On its Twitter account, the high command accused the general of treason. Yanez is the first active Venezuelan general to recognize Guaido since he proclaimed himself president on Jan. 23. The video came as opposition supporters were set to protest nationwide in a bid to keep up the pressure on Maduro after Washington recognized Guaido as the legitimate president and issued potentially crippling sanctions that are likely to further weaken the OPEC nation's struggling oil industry. Maduro's critics also hope to encourage similar moves by European countries. Some European Union member states are expected to officially recognize Guaido next week, while others will likely take a more cautious stance of support.