Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has the support of "great allies" in the international community, Armed Forces Operational Strategic Command chief Adm. Remigio Ceballos said, speaking to VTV on Monday night.
"We are not in isolation…we have great allies," Ceballos stressed, when asked about the fifty or so countries who have joined the US in supporting self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido last month.
"We have the support of more than 180 countries in the international community, especially at the juncture that we are in right now," the commander said.
Over the weekend, Caracas launched the country's largest-ever military exercises, practicing the defence of Venezuela's territory, coasts, rivers and airspace from foreign invasion, and drilling for civil and military mobilization in the event of war. The drills come amid threats by the White House that the US would not take the 'military option' off the table on the Venezuelan crisis.
Ceballos boasted that Venezuela's armed forces have been "modernized," and said the Latin American nation has the "means to guarantee the integrity" of its territory and airspace.
Ultimately, the senior officer stressed that the country's armed forces remained consolidated around the country's president, stressing there were 'do doubts' regarding their loyalty despite pressure by Guaido and his US allies to switch sides.
The long-running political crisis in Venezuela escalated last month after Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela's semi-defunct National Assembly, proclaimed himself interim president pending fresh elections. The US, Canada, and multiple Latin American and European states recognised the opposition leader. Russia, Belarus, Serbia, China, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Syria, Iran, Turkey, North Korea, and others reaffirmed their support for President Maduro, or urged outside powers not to interfere in Venezuela's internal affairs.