The Latest: Guaidó calls on Venezuelans to talk to troops
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó will take his quest to win over Venezuela’s troops back to the streets with a new mobilization effort outside military installations.
The man recognized by the U.S. and about 50 other countries as Venezuela’s legitimate president is urging supporters to participate in a Saturday morning outreach to soldiers.
Guaidó said at a press conference Friday that Venezuelans should try talking to troops around the country and telling them to “join the movement.”
The 35-year-old lawmaker has been attempting to gain the support of the military, but President Nicolás Maduro has managed to maintain control even though dissatisfaction among lower-ranking troops is considered widespread.
Few heeded Guaidó’s call for an uprising on Tuesday.
The military is the traditional arbiter of political disputes in the South American nation
Human rights groups say a 15-year-old boy is the latest casualty in Venezuela’s ongoing unrest.
The Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict reported Friday that Yonder Villasmil was killed during a protest in the northwestern state of Merida.
The organization says Villasmil died Thursday night in a demonstration over power outages.
Four other deaths were previously reported in protests rocking the nation after opposition leader Juan Guaidó tried to spark a military uprising Tuesday.
Over 200 have been injured in clashes this week.
The observatory says 58 people have died during protests so far this year.
The nation is engulfed in a power struggle between Guaidó and President Nicolás Maduro, whose government is reviled across much of the country as Venezuela struggles to emerge from an economic and humanitarian crisis.
Venezuela’s ambassador in Madrid is rebuking the Spanish government for allowing a leading opponent of President Nicolás Maduro to speak out from his refuge at the Spanish Embassy in Caracas.
Opposition activist Leopoldo López spoke with reporters Thursday at the gate of the Spanish ambassador’s home in the Venezuelan capital, days after breaking house arrest to join an attempted military revolt against Maduro.
Ambassador Mario Isea tells Radio Nacional de Espana that permitting López to urge Venezuelans to back the uprising is “inappropriate.”
He says Friday that it’s “extraordinary for (López) to use the ambassador’s residence as an operational base to abet a military uprising,” according to private Spanish news agency Europa Press.
Venezuela’s top court has ordered López’s arrest, but Spain has refused to hand him over.
Spain’s acting foreign minister says a Venezuelan anti-government activist is a guest at the Spanish Embassy in Caracas, which can’t be turned into a center of political activities.
Josep Borrell says Leopoldo López has not asked for political asylum and he can’t because he would have to do that in Spain if he wanted to. Borrell spoke with journalists on Friday during a visit to the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
“He is a guest and was received as a guest,” Borrell says. “We can’t permit that the Spanish Embassy be the center of political activities in Venezuela.”
López was detained in 2014 for leading protests against President Nicolás Maduro’s rule and placed under house arrest before appearing in public on Tuesday.