Top Venezuela general rejects Maduro’s legitimacy, throws support behind interim president

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A top Venezuelan air force general said he doesn’t recognize President Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate leader and backed opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim head-of-state.

A video disavowing Maduro’s rule circulated across social media on Twitter on Saturday, just as Venezuelans hit the streets across the country in support of Guaido, who declared himself the country’s temporary leader weeks ago.

General Francisco Yanez, a member of the air force’s high command, urged others in the military to defect, according to Reuters. He’s reportedly the air force’s head of strategic planning.

In response, the high command accused the general of treason on its Twitter account. Yanez is the first high-ranking general to publicly support the opposition leader.

The general’s defection signals a shifting view towards the socialist government that is struggling to maintain support among the people amid economic hardship and repression of social liberties and instead have to rely on brute force to assert its legitimacy. – READ MORE

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