Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido is urging people to take to the streets for new mass protests Wednesday.
In a video statement posted on social media Tuesday night, Guaido also urged the military to join with those clamoring for change in Venezuela.
The leader recognized by more than 50 nations as Venezuela’s rightful leader said socialist President Nicolas Maduro “doesn’t have the backing or the respect” of the military.
Guaido called for a military uprising earlier Tuesday, issuing the most serious challenge yet to Maduro’s contested rule. But only one high-ranking officer and a small group of soldiers have broken publicly with Maduro so far.
The head of Venezuela’s secret police is admonishing President Nicolas Maduro, in the biggest break so far by a senior member of the security forces.
SEBIN leader Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera wrote a letter to the Venezuelan people Tuesday saying it is time to “rebuild the country.”
A senior U.S. official confirmed the authenticity of the note circulating on social media.
Figuera says he has always been loyal to Maduro, but Venezuela has experienced a damaging decline. Though he does not name opposition leader Juan Guaidó, Figuera writes, “The time has come to seek new ways of doing politics.”
The senior U.S. official says Figuera’s wife is outside Venezuela. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to share details on the general’s statement.