Col. Jose Luis Silva, a military attaché at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, told the US Spanish-language daily newspaper El Nuevo Herald on Saturday that he did not recognize Nicolas Maduro as the Venezuelan president.
"As the Venezuelan defense attache in the United States, I do not recognize Mr. Nicolas Maduro as president of Venezuela… My message to all armed forces members, to everyone who carries a gun, is to please let’s not attack the people. We are also part of the people, and we’ve had enough of supporting a government that has betrayed the most basic principles and sold itself to other countries," Silva said.
The situation in Venezuela escalated on Tuesday, when the opposition-controlled National Assembly declared that Maduro had usurped power. Guaido proclaimed himself interim president on the following day.
The United States, alongside a handful other nations, recognized Guaido, after which Maduro called the opposition leader a US puppet and accused the US of organizing a coup in Venezuela. The Venezuelan president also ceased diplomatic relations with Washington DC and gave US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.