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Pompeo Backpedals on US Claims That Venezuelan Officials Ready to Abandon Maduro

© AP Photo / Susan WalshSecretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, about the FY'20 budget
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, about the FY'20 budget - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in an interview said top Venezuelan officials have not been as clear about abandoning President Nicolas Maduro as Trump administration officials had alleged just 24 hours ago.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton on Tuesday claimed that Venezuela’s Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino, Presidential Guard Commander Rafael Hernandez Dala and Supreme Court Chief Judge Maikel Moreno had pledged to support the opposition's attempted coup.

"They made that very clear to other members of the opposition. And today they haven’t indicated that as clearly," Pompeo told NBC News on Wednesday.

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Pompeo acknowledged that political conditions remained unclear in Venezuela and that Maduro retained the loyalty of key figures in the government despite the calls of US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido for an uprising to topple him.

On Tuesday, Padrino publicly vowed to crush the attempted coup, saying Venezuela's armed forces remained loyal to Maduro and the country’s constitution. Guaido, who illegally proclaimed himself interim president in January, called on Venezuelans and the country’s military to join his attempt to overthrow the legitimate government.

READ MORE: Venezuela's Maduro Wants to Adopt Plan to 'Correct Mistakes', Calls for Dialogue

Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido and take over Venezuela’s natural resources. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

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