02:05 GMT +320 September 2019
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    Venezuelan Bolivarian Army soldiers stand guard at the Tienditas International Bridge that links Colombia and Venezuela, near Urena, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.

    Brazil: Venezuelan "Democratic Transition" Hangs on Military's Loyalty to Maduro

    © AP Photo / Fernando Llano
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    Venezuela has been embroiled in a political crisis ever since opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself an interim president – a move that was immediately supported by a majority of Western states, including the US. The latter have been pressuring democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro to step down.

    Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo has said in an interview with Reuters that the process of a "democratic transition" in Venezuela is "irreversible" and added that the most acute question today revolves around the country's military, which, in his opinion, must follow the legitimate government.

    "The question today is the arrangements necessary for the Venezuelan military to adhere to the legitimate government. We feel it is necessary for the military to adhere but the shape it will take is up to the Venezuelans", the minister said.

    He also stated that forces targeting President Nicolas Maduro are "gaining momentum" and argued that there is a "growing perception that it’s only a question of time" before he is ousted.

    The Venezuelan military remains loyal to the government of the legitimate, democratically elected president, Nicolas Maduro. When the opposition, led by self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido, called on the military to change sides on 30 April, only few did so, with most troops pledging loyalty to the elected president.

    READ MORE: Juan Guaido's Deputy Luis Florido Prosecuted For Failed Coup Flees to Colombia

    Guaido's claims to the presidency were largely supported by Western states, including the US, which has been pressuring Venezuela with economic sanctions to force Maduro to resign in recent years. However, Russia, China, Turkey, and number of other states have refused to recognise Guaido and supported Maduro.

    The latter has called Guaido a "US puppet" and accused both him and Washington of conspiring to conduct an illegitimate coup in Venezuela. Following an unsuccessful attempt to gain the support of the military at the end of April, the Venezuelan government accused Guaido and several of his followers, who mostly fled the country, of attempting a coup and arrested several of them.

    After botched attempt in April, Guaido began discussing the possibility of an American military intervention with US authorities - something that Washington has repeatedly affirmed is an option. Guaido also called on EU states to increase sanctions pressure on the Venezuelan economy, which is already struggling, arguing that it would help oust Maduro.

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    military, democracy, Brazil, Venezuela
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