Interim president Juan Guaido held a rally in the city of Los Teques, located just south of Caracas in MIranda state, in which he spoke about the urgency of having a change in the national government in Venezuela.
Guaido spoke broadly about what he considers to be a generalized government strategy to demoralize and divide Venezuelans, partially by ignoring their pleas for better governance. On that topic, Guaido said:
Nicolas Maduro knows that he’s already lost. This is a regime that wants our hearts filled with darkness and fear. We can’t let them make fools of us. How much longer will they laugh at the people?
Referencing the fact that Venezuela has experienced three nationwide blackouts this month which have affected virtually every corner of the country in some way, Guaido said:
We have to accelerate this [transition] process because this is unbearable.
Guaido reminded followers that this upcoming April 6 will be marked by nationwide demonstrations in preparation for what he calls “Operation Liberty”. While details on Operation Liberty are scarce, it appears to involve a march on the Miraflores Palace based on previous comments by Guaido.
On the frequent disruptions to electrical service and electricity, Guaido said that Venezuelans have to “armar un peo“ (roughly, “raise hell”) whenever they occur to signal to the Maduro government that they will not stand for those conditions.
On Invoking Article 187(11): “Of Course”
During the rally, Guaido spoke briefly on article 187(11) of the constitution, which grants the National Assembly the power to authorize foreign military missions in Venezuela. The idea of making use of the article has become relatively popular among the general population, after it was propelled into the public sphere by the most extreme right-wing of the Venezuelan opposition, headed by Vente Venezuela chief Maria Corina Machado.
Guaido said that article 187(11) would “of course” be invoked, but provided no details on when or how that would take place, or what the foreign military mission would look like.
Article 187(11) of the constitution reads:
Article 187: It shall be the function of the National Assembly:
(11) To authorize the operation of Venezuelan military missions abroad or foreign military missions within the country.
One of the questions that the opposition will have to answer is what exactly a “military mission” means. Guaido has said in interviews that he does not want to see a military invasion of Venezuela. He has also said that he understands 187(11) to allow for military cooperation between Venezuela and a foreign ally, rather than a military invasion.
During the rally, Guaido pointed out that “the invasion [has already been carried out] by the Cubans and the Russians”, referencing the presence of military advisers and other personnel from both countries to assist the Maduro regime.
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