Juan Guaidó Calls Venezuelans to the Streets
A transcript of the opposition leader’s remarks from La Carlota Air Base.
On Tuesday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on his country’s military to join the fight against President Nicolás Maduro. Speaking from a military air base and with several uniformed officers flanking his sides, Guaidó declared that “brave soldiers, brave patriots, brave men devoted to the constitution have heeded our call” and invited citizens to “fill the streets of Venezuela immediately.”
A full transcript of his remarks is below.
Alright, Venezuela. Good morning. As you all know, our fight has always been framed by the constitution: in nonviolent struggle, in working for our neighbors, in saving lives, in working for the most vulnerable, in caring for our families, in capacity-building, always in line with our constitution.
In this process, we said: When the people were in the streets, we would take charge. When the international community thoroughly supported our fight, we would be with the people of Venezuela. Now, we call upon public servants, and on an essential component—not only for the transition, but also for the reconstruction of Venezuela, to recover our national sovereignty—our armed forces.
Today, brave soldiers, brave patriots, brave men devoted to the constitution have heeded our call. We’ve also heeded the call, and we have found ourselves in the streets of Venezuela once and for all. Operation Liberty, the aid and liberty committees: I invite you to activate immediately, I invite you to fill the streets of Venezuela immediately.
The 1st of May [when street protests were scheduled] began today; the final phase of the usurpation began today. We’re counting on the people of Venezuela. Today the armed forces are clearly with the people, with the constitution, loyal to the constitution, loyal to the people of Venezuela, to their family, to the future, to progress.
These have been years of sacrifice, years of persecution, and even years of fear. Today, we defeat that fear. Today, as acting president of Venezuela, legitimate commander in chief of the armed forces, I call upon all the soldiers, the entire military family, to accompany us in this endeavor—as we have always done, in line with the constitution, in line with nonviolent struggle, as we have consistently done.
So you’re called upon here, right now, at La Carlota Air Base, to support this process of the final phase of the usurpation that we’ve consistently called for, and we say it with grave responsibility: capacity-building.
We also call upon everyone, including those who support what they called “the process.” Today is a meeting of all Venezuelans. Today, we as Venezuelans want to build not only capacities, but also the future for our children, so pay heed to the call. Already, many soldiers have joined us. Our military family has once and for all taken this step. To all who are listening, to all those who are going to hear us in the next few minutes, this is the moment. The moment is now. It is the moment not only for calm and cool heads, but for courage as well as cool heads, so that peace can return to Venezuela. God bless you all, we’re going forward. We’re going to achieve liberty and democracy for Venezuela.
This transcript was prepared from video posted on Guaidó’s Twitter feed and translated by Foreign Policy.