Venezuela: Retired Officers Question Arrests of Three Generals

EspañolDuring the meeting with foreign ministers celebrated yesterday in Caracas, as part of the efforts by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to encourage dialogue between the country’s government and opposition, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said three generals of the Air Force who conspired against him had been arrested. He was trying to convince his audience that the student protests shaking the country are part of a “coup in development.”

Without naming names or giving further details, the president said that the three generals “intended for the Air Force to rebel against the legitimately constituted government.” But the announcement made last Tuesday in Caracas was received with skepticism among retired Venezuelan officers, who expressed surprise at its timing.

“We must take into account the ‘when’ and the ‘where’ of Mr. Maduro’s announcement. He did it taking advantage of the presence of the foreign ministers of UNASUR. So this seems to be a media maneuver undertaken to seek more support from the international body,” said former Venezuelan Defense Minister Vicente Luis Narváez Churión.

The retired officers consulted stressed that Maduro has a long history of making allegations of conspiracy without providing evidence. Former Army Commander Carlos Julio Peñaloza said the fact that only Air Force generals have been detained also raises questions: “In Venezuela, the Air Force, on their own, cannot execute a coup. Those who can … are in the Army, it’s the largest force, it’s in the whole country, and has the necessary structure to do it.”

Source: El Nuevo Herald.

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