Small Wars Journal

A Venezuelan Air Force General Defected From Maduro’s Side. Here’s What We Know.

A Venezuelan Air Force General Defected From Maduro’s Side. Here’s What We Know. By Siobhán O'Grady – Washington Post

On Saturday morning, just before massive pro-opposition demonstrations were set to take place across Venezuela, a high-ranking military officer published a surprising YouTube video.

 

Dressed in uniform, acting Venezuelan air force Gen. Francisco Yanez looked at the camera and announced he was throwing his support behind Juan Guaidó, the 35-year-old head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who declared himself interim president last month.

 

Political chaos has erupted since Guaidó’s announcement, but the Venezuelan military has stood by President Nicolás Maduro, who took office in 2013. But in the video, Yanez claims that “90 percent of the armed forces are not with the dictator.”

 

Yanez is now the highest-ranking military official to defect from Maduro’s side to Guaidó’s, raising questions as to whether he is an outlier or if others will follow his lead. Last month, Col. José Luis Silva, the defense attache at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, also declared his support for Guaidó…

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