Guaidó on failed uprising: My backers 'failed to follow through' on promises
In new interview, Juan Guaidó, the opposition recognised as Venezuela's interim president by more than 50 countries, said it is "obvious today, there is widespread discontent from which the Armed Forces aren't immune."
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó said Monday that backers who had pledged support for his abortive uprising last week had "failed to follow through" to dislodge President Nicolás Maduro.
But that "doesn't mean that they won't do it soon," Guaidó told AFP in an interview in Caracas.
Guaidó, recognised as interim president by more than 50 countries, said it was "obvious today, there is widespread discontent from which the Armed Forces aren't immune."
"There have been discussions... with civil and military officials who are ready to take the side of our Constitution," he said. "I'm very optimistic given that we are very close to achieving change in Venezuela."
The 35-year-old National Assembly chief has branded Maduro a usurper over his controversial re-election last year, and in January declared himself acting president, plunging Venezuela into a political crisis that deepened its already grave economic woes.
But Maduro has held firm, bolstered by the continued support of the powerful Armed Forces.
Guaidó, however, expressed the hope that the Army would eventually come on board.
Maduro was getting "weaker and weaker" after years of protests against his regime, Guaidó said, painting a picture of a leader surrounded by the last vestige of support in his Miraflores presidential palace.
"They say that Maduro is in Miraflores, but they also say that he's in a bunker with a main security ring composed of Cubans and a second ring made up of soldiers from the Casa Militar," Guaidó said, referring to Venezuela's elite presidential protection corps.
"He no longer trusts even in his high command, he doesn't even have any trust in his environment."
Guaidó has tried to keep up the pressure with massive street protests, but his latest call for demonstrations on Saturday drew only several hundred people. He rejected suggestions that his opposition movement was flatlining, however.
"On Saturday, I think the protest was fulfilled. A key goal for us was to redirect it toward non-violence," he said.
Maduro, meanwhile, appeared at a military exercise on Saturday with Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino López, who top US officials had said was in on the attempted uprising but backed out.