In a video published Saturday, Col. Jose Luis Silva called on other members of the military to join him in defecting from Maduro’s government, saying they need to avoid “attacking” protesters whose only aim is to feed themselves.
“The armed forces have a fundamental role to play in the restoration of democracy,” Silva said in the video which he said was shot at his office in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, sitting in front of the nation’s red, blue and yellow flag, AP reported.
Venezuela’s top commanders have pledged loyalty to Maduro’s government in the days since National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself interim leader with the aim of calling new elections in accordance with the constitution.
Last week, a small National Guard unit stole a stockpile of weapons in what it said was an attempt to oust Maduro. The uprising was quelled and 25 guardsmen arrested.