The Bolivarian Armed Forces high command has again publically pledged loyalty to Nicolás Maduro, reelected president on the 20 May elections, boycotted and denounced as a fraud by most of the opposition.
In a statement called “Proclama de Lealtad y Compromiso” read during the pledge ceremony by a middle ranking officer, the armed forces were defined as “Bolivarian, Zamoristas, Chavistas, anti-imperialists, and anti-oligarchic.”
“You [Maduro] can count on the loyalty and commitment of these patriotic soldiers to continue on your side on this stoic battle against imperialism. We are firmly committed to the continued construction of a great, socialist, free and sovereign fatherland, ruled by the principles of social justice, equality, common wellbeing, solidarity and peace,” read the statement.
Maduro thanked the armed forces for their loyalty and said that the Proclama should be signed by all officers and published. But he also warned of a conspiracy by the United States and Colombia. “In the last weeks we have dismantled a conspiracy financed by Colombia and encouraged by the United States to divide the Armed Forces and to stop the May 20 elections,” he said.
He also said that the leaders of the conspiracy have been arrested and that security forces are still searching for its main “financial backer” [financiasta].
Local media has reported that at least 38 military officers have been arrested in the past two weeks. Miguel Rodríguez Torres, Chavez’ ex defense minister has been under arrest since March 13 on charges of “espionage, conspiracy, and instigation to commit crimes.”
The arrested military officers “have confessed and have been convicted, they sold themselves to Colombia to betray the Bolivarian Armed Forces. ¡Be all on alert! ¡Do not drop your guard! This is a time for combat. They wanted to affect our elections and democracy: the North American empire, the Colombian oligarchy,” said Maduro.