January 22, 2022

Ex-Venezuelan general in armed standoff at home

Retired Venezuelan Army Gen. Angel Vivas, armed and wearing a flak jacket, walks on his property in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. President Nicolas Maduro ordered on Saturday the arrest and investigation of the retired general for his statements on YouTube and Twitter. Maduro said Vivas is instigating violence at a time when two weeks of anti-government protests have left 10 dead and over 100 wounded. Vivas has been an opponent of the Venezuelan government since his 2007 resignation as director of the Ministry of Defense Engineering, due to the military's adoption of the slogan "Fatherland, socialism or death, we shall overcome," created in Cuba. (AP Photo/Juan Manuel Hernandez)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — One of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s most outspoken critics has become the latest rally cry for opposition protesters after engaging in an armed standoff with security forces Sunday.

Retired army Gen. Angel Vivas sported a flak jacket, assault rifle and handgun as he defiantly addressed dozens of neighbors from the balcony of his home in eastern Caracas.

“I’m not going to surrender,” the 57-year-old Vivas yelled to a crowd of cheering followers.

Supporters rushed to Vivas’ defense after he announced to his 100,000-plus followers on Twitter that a group of “Cuban and Venezuelan henchmen” had come looking for him. The officers withdrew after the crowd built barricades outside Vivas’ house. Vivas’ lawyer said they didn’t have an arrest order.

Maduro on Saturday ordered Vivas’ arrest for allegedly encouraging students to stretch wire across streets where they’ve set up barricades in recent weeks. The president blames the apparent booby trap for the death of a government supporter who raced into a barricade on a motorcycle.

Vivas, one of the government’s fiercest critics in the frequently vicious world of Venezuelan social media, rose to prominence in 2007 when he resigned as head of the Defense Ministry’s engineering department rather than order his subalterns to swear to the Cuban-inspired oath “Fatherland, socialism or death.”

The standoff Sunday occurred after hundreds of grandparents danced and paraded their way to the presidential palace to express support for Maduro, who is struggling to contain a wave of anti-government protests that have left at least 10 people dead and more than 100 injured.

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A national strike is called for Monday.  The civilians conducting the guarimba are using Zello for communications.

Below is proof that the Guarimba is working in Venezuela, where the neighbors near the General have prevented that the government apprehend the patriot General that is asking other military to go against Maduro’s regime.

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