Venezuela military members in contact with opposition: Bolton

AFP Washington, DC, USA Mar 10, 2019, 07.40 PM(IST)

File photo: US National Security Adviser John Bolton.   Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

National Security Advisor John Bolton stopped short of predicting the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro but said momentum is on the side of Juan Guaido.

US President Donald Trump's national security advisor said Sunday that members of Venezuela's military have been in conversation with National Assembly members about how they might move to support the opposition.

National Security Advisor John Bolton stopped short of predicting the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro but said momentum is on the side of Juan Guaido, the National Assembly leader who proclaimed himself acting president.

"There are countless conversations going on between members of the National Assembly and members of the military in Venezuela, talking about what might come, how they might move to support the opposition," Bolton said in an interview on ABC's "This Week."

His comments came a day after thousands rallied in Caracas against the Maduro government amid a massive blackout that has left the capital and much of the country without power for four days.

Maduro supporters also rallied behind the embattled leftist president, who blamed "imperialism" for the country's problems and claimed the electrical grid was crippled by a "cyber attack."

Bolton said it was significant that the Maduro regime has refrained from arresting Guaido, who has been recognized by more than 50 countries as Venezuela's acting president.

"One reason for that is Maduro fears if he gave that order, it would not be obeyed," he said.

Asked if he was certain Maduro was on his way out, Bolton said, "I'm not certain of anything, but I do think Guaido has the momentum."