A group of 45 Venezuelan retired top officers among which a dozen generals and admirals and a former defence minister have published an open statement in which they accuse the government of President Nicolas Maduro of having broken the country’s “constitutional thread” and thus support a military action which, they say “would not be a coup d’état’.
The officers accuse the government of Maduro and former president Hugo Chavez of having handed the country over to Cuba and claim that the current leader who took office last April is exercising the Executive office in an ‘illegitimate way’.
“We consider it is convenient to expose to national and international public opinion that a military action directed to recover the constitutional thread, a return to the democratic system of government and defending sovereignty is not a coup d’état and is in conformity to what is established in our constitution, in articles 333 and 350, and in exercise of the functions established in the article 328 of the same constitutional text”, says the text followed by the signatures of the retired military brass.
They insist that according to article 350 “the people of Venezuela, faithful to its republican tradition, to its struggle for independence, peace and freedom, will ignore any regime, legislation or authority which contradicts the democratic values, principles and guarantees or attempts to lessen human rights.
The declaration states that the release is in the framework of “a great national debate” on the legitimacy of a possible intervention of the National Armed Forces to solve the political and social crisis facing the country. They insist that ‘chavism’ is exercising power in an “arbitrary and authoritarian” way and violating the basic principles of any democratic government.
The current government under the influence of Cuba pretends to impose on Venezuelans “conditions of blind obedience and submission so that they can aspire to a minimum sustenance to survive”. In the last fifteen years, they add in the document which was first released in Facebook as ‘Operation Freedom Venezuela’, “we have been witnesses of the most absolute and unimaginable impunity, abuses, lies and larceny”
“Currently in Venezuela and for months, we are being conducted to a cliff by an individual who exercises power in an illegitimate way, both in origin and performance, above whom hang justified suspicions that he has double nationality (Colombia) and that he is not Venezuelan by birth”. This is in reference to the insistent claims from the opposition that Maduro was born in Colombia.
However this same week the Venezuelan Electoral Court showed Maduro’s Venezuelan birth certificate.
According to the retired officers the current president “has allowed the invasion from the Castro-communist region to continue”; “has handed over the wealth of the country to foreign powers in exchange for him remaining in office”; “ has plunged Venezuela in the worst social, economic and political crisis of its republican history”; “has allowed the country to become in a bridge and deposit are for the narcotics trade and one of the most corrupt countries on earth”.
Finally they claim that the government is trying to finish with the National Armed Forces through massive promotions and the naming of hundreds of generals and admirals “as a way to compensate unconditional support and servility”, without having any command posts and even unprepared for such responsibilties, plus the presence of Cuban officers in the barracks.
The document carries the signature of former Defence minister and General Vicente Luis Narváez Churión; former Defence Secretary and Rear Admiral Efraim Diaz Tarazon; former Commander of the Army and General Carlos Julio Peñaloza as well as former Navy chief, Rear Admiral Jesus Rafael Bertorelli Moreno.