El Universal reported this afternoon that Maduro has expelled thirteen officers from the National Bolivarian Armed Forces for recognizing Juan Guaido has the legitimate president of Venezuela.

According to the newspaper, among the officers were two retired generals as well as major general Hugo Carvajal, who was the chief of military intelligence for much of the Chavez presidency. Carvajal made headlines this past February 21 when he released a series of videos denouncing Maduro as a tyrant, and recognizing Guaido as the president of Venezuela.

The expulsions were published in the Gaceta Oficial N° 41.602 dated March 20, but had apparently not been reported in the media until today.

After taking on the role of interim president on January 23, Guaido led the opposition in a campaign to convince soldiers to abandon Maduro and join the opposition through an amnesty law. The campaign has not yet achieved its desired effect.

Abrams Says It’s “Premature” to Think of Military Intervention in Venezuela

U.S. Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams said in an interview with Colombia’s Caracol Radio today that it is “premature” to think about a military intervention in Venezuela, despite the severity of the crisis.

Abrams said:

The situation in Venezuela is getting worse every day, but I don’t think that in Europe, Latin America, Canada or the United States, we’re thinking at this moment of a military reaction.

One of the many debates taking place in Venezuela today has to do with article 187(11) of the Constitution, which gives the National Assembly the power to authorize foreign military missions in Venezuela. While some sectors of the Venezuelan opposition–namely those aligned with Maria Corina Machado–are pushing for the application of the article, others–including interim president Juan Guaido–have been less enthusiastic.

Guaido was asked in an interview with Spain’s ABC on March 17 if he would support a military intervention in Venezuela, to which Guaido replied that he would not.

Arreaza Meets Assad in Damascus

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza met today with Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, as part of a tour of the Middle East.

Arreaza marked the occasion with a tweet:

It is a great honour to have been received by our brother, president of the Arab Republic of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad. How much experience, wisdom and advice for resistance, victory and Peace [sic]. We send a hug of solidarity to President [Nicolas Maduro]. Long live Syria!

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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