A sergeant in the Venezuelan Armed Forces has released a video calling for his fellow soldiers to rise up against dictator Nicolás Maduro and reject orders to attack unarmed civilians, the latest indication that Maduro is losing the support of the military amid a wave of violent crackdowns on dissidents.
First Sergeant Giomar Alexander Flores Ortiz identifies himself with his legal military number in the video before accusing Maduro’s socialist government of being an “illegitimate president” and telling soldiers to “not follow the abusive and unconstitutional orders that our superior give us.”
“I consider myself a rightful soldier regarding upholding my duties, with strong values and professional ethics,” he said in the video. “I always stick to the rules and regulations of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”
“In the fulfillment of this function I am at the exclusive service of the country, with absolutely no political partisanship,” he asserts. “I hereby ratify my rejection of Nicolás Maduro Moros as an illegitimate president of the republic and I do not accept his dictatorial regime, which does not respect the Constitution and instead defies its principles and disregards human rights.”
“My call is to you, my dear comrades in arms. … We must respect the laws and be on the side of the people, and turn our backs on the tyrant that has so harmed the country. We cannot fear him. We must fulfill our duty to defend our nation against the abhorrent actions committed by these immoral and corrupt officials,” he says.
Flores Ortiz goes on to demand the freedom of all of Venezuela’s political prisoners, in particular, the opposition party leader Leopoldo López, “who we all know is innocent.” López is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for having organized peaceful anti-socialist protests in 2014, for which he was convicted of arson and inciting violence.
The soldier concludes by expressing gratitude to “our almighty Father, who has a plan for us”:
Throughout the past two months of protests against the socialist regime, Maduro has relied heavily upon the armed forces to attack, suppress, and kill peaceful protesters. Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) soldiers have used tear gas, rubber bullets, and armored tanks to intimidate and injure protesters. In one incident caught on video last month, soldiers drove their tanks into a crowd of protesters, running them over.
As a result, small pockets of public resistance have formed within the military. In April, three soldiers fled to Colombia and published a video on YouTube similar to the one by Flores Ortiz, urging soldiers to defect. Opposition leaders have reported hearing of dozens of cases of soldiers within the army ranks criticizing Maduro and facing military tribunals for insubordination. To prevent any further uprising, Maduro acted against the nation’s most prominent military dissident, General Ángel Vivas, last month. Vivas had spent the better part of a decade opposing Chavista socialism, and the past several years locked in his home with his military firearms, which he refused to give up despite the warrant against him. Maduro’s police thugs
To prevent any further uprising, Maduro acted against the nation’s most prominent military dissident, General Ángel Vivas, last month. Vivas had spent the better part of a decade opposing Chavista socialism, and the past several years locked in his home with his military firearms, which he refused to give up despite the warrant against him. Maduro’s police thugs raided Vivas’s home last month, beat the 60-year-old, and whisked him away to military jail. His family has told international media that the senior official’s health has deteriorated significantly in prison, but he has yet to receive appropriate medical care.
The opposition has called for a complete uprising within the military against Maduro. “We are asking today that the armed [forces] of the Republic exercise their sovereignty … and tell Nicolás Maduro to call for elections or the streets will continue to protest. Either you call elections or your soldiers will have to murder the entire people,” opposition legislator said José Manuel Olivares said on Monday. Freddy Guevara, the acting head of Popular Will during López’s imprisonment, issued a similar call, saying, “To leave this dictatorship we need the FANB (Bolivarian National Armed Forces).”
Lilian Tintori, López’s wife and an opposition leader herself, published a letter to the armed forces in April demanding they cease to use force against protesters. “You, just like me, have a mother, probably have children or are married, maybe have siblings, and I am sure that they, just like my family, are unjustly suffering through the horrors all Venezuelans are facing these days,” she wrote.
Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino López has denied that the military is divided and urged soldiers to stay out of politics generally. His latest posts on Twitter emphasize his military’s “obedience, subordination, and loyalty”:
— MPPDefensa (@prensaFANB) June 1, 2017
.. ok, so that was the communist nightmare south of USA. How is the communist nightmare-wannabe north of US’ lower 48 coming along?
5,000 Canadians March in Support of Trump, Against Liberal Trudeau Administration
A group of up to 5,000 Canadian citizens marched on Canada’s capital on Saturday in support of U.S. President Donald Trump’s conservative agenda and against the liberal agenda of their own Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
Event organizer Mike Waine, who called his march the “Million Deplorable March” in emulation of the name Hillary Clinton made up for Donald Trump’s supporters, said he is annoyed that PM Trudeau gets a free pass from the Canadian media.
Nothing was being done about this corrupt government… Trudeau stepped out-of-bounds with waving the pot leaf in front of the nose of the tokers and his nice friendly-looking smile won him the housewives. So now we’re in a situation where we have a complete moron at the helm and he’s spending more than we can afford. He’s destroying our country with carbon taxes, he’s destroying small business.
Waine praised President Trump for taking the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord and slammed the Canadian media for refusing to report accurately how badly Trudeau’s liberal policies are working.
Other marchers were protesting the impending passage of M-103, a new law that would make criticism of Islam a criminal offense in Canada.
M-103 states that the government must “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” It would levy criminal sentences on those who criticize Islam.
Canada’s Conservative Party generally stands against M-103. Maxime Bernier, a conservative with libertarian free market leanings, recently said he voted against the bill, tweeting: “Free speech is the most fundamental right we have. I am opposed to #m103. Canadians should be treated equally regardless of religion.”
But the self-proclaimed “feminist” Prime Minister slammed opposition to the speech code-style bill:
Diversity is a source of strength, not just a source of weakness, and as I look at this beautiful room — sisters upstairs — everyone here, (I see) the diversity we have just within this mosque, within the Islamic community, within the Muslim community in Canada.
Marcher Rod Noble agreed with the conservative position saying, “We already have extensive protection for all groups and this is really special treatment and it’s part of a cookie cutter policy that is happening all across the western world…it’s part of the deliberate Islamization of the West…coordinated by George Soros and we have to stop this.”
The march began on Parliament Hill in the Canadian capital of Ottawa and will continue through Sunday afternoon, ending with a rally on Parliament Hill.