Supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaido gather around La Carlota military flight path to participate in a protest in Caracas, Venezuela on April 30, 2019.
Lokman Ilhan | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
A Venezuelan general urged the country's armed forces on Sunday to rise up against President Nicolas Maduro, who has invoked military support to hold on to power despite an economic collapse.
Ramon Rangel, who identified himself as an Air Force General, said the Venezuelan government is controlled by the "Communist dictatorship" in Cuba ̵
"We need to find a way to get rid of fear, go out into the streets, protest and seek a military union to change this political system," Rangel, wearing a suit with a copy of the constitution in his hand, said in a video published on YouTube. "It's time to get up."
While Rangel's statement marks another blow to Maduro after a handful of similar shortcomings of senior executives this year, there is little to indicate that he will tip the waves.
Masters who have disavowed Maduro have fled the country and the military cross – especially those who control troops – continue to recognize Maduro.
The Ministry of Information did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters couldn't get comments from Rangel.
Aviation manager Pedro Juliac posted a picture of Rangel on Twitter on Sunday with the words "traitors to the Venezuelan people and the revolution" printed over the picture.
Rangel was an active military officer who fled to Colombia last month, according to a source near Venezuelan military who requested not to be identified.
Unlike other officers who have made similar statements, Rangel did not vote in favor of the Juan Guaido opposition leader who invoked the Constitution in January to assume the interim presidency and argued that Maduro's 2018 re-election was a fraud.
More than 50 nations, including the United States and most South American nations, call Guaido Venezuela's legitimate leader.
Guaido and a group of soldiers urged the armed forces on April 30 to put on Maduro, but the military never went along and the uprising collapsed. The government called the event a coup attempt and accused a group of 10 opposition lawmakers of treason to join meetings that day.
Venezuela suffers from a hyperinflationary collapse that has driven a migration flood of about 3.5 million people over the past three years.