15 May 2019
President Nicolas Maduro met with Venezuelan soldiers in the city of Vargas on Tuesday, in a show of strength just weeks after an attempted uprising against the Socialist leader. Despite U.S. sanctions, the upper echelons of Venezuela's military have largely ignored entreaties from the opposition leader Juan Guaido and Washington to turn against Maduro and just over 1,000 troops have defected, mostly to Colombia and Brazil.
Maduro says that the U.S. government, supported by regional allies in Latin America, wants to forcibly oust him from office in order to exploit Venezuela's oil wealth. But members of the opposition say they want free elections in the country. Also on Tuesday, Venezuela's top court accused four opposition lawmakers of treason, following similar accusations against 10 legislators this month, escalating a deep political crisis in the South American country.