Vice President Hamilton Mourao said on Thursday Venezuela’s opposition figure Juan Guaido was wrong in hoping to see high ranking commanders of the military would join his coup attempt.
He said there might be cracks in the lower ranks of the Venezuelan armed forces, but not among the commanders.
“We don’t see light at the end of the tunnel for Venezuela,” he said, adding Brasilia was worried that the crisis in its neighbor could spark a civil war.
Early on Tuesday, a group of Venezuelan armed troops accompanying Guaido clashed with soldiers at an anti-government rally in the capital Caracas. Gunfire ensued and more than 100 people were wounded.
The administration of US President Donald Trump, which has recognized Guaido as the “president” of Venezuela, quickly backed the attempted putsch.
Later in the day, President Maduro declared that the coup attempt by a small group of the military had been defeated.
Venezuela’s Maduro says coup attempt thwartedVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says a coup attempt by a small faction of the military has been defeated, thanking the armed forces for continued loyalty to him.
The Brazilian president, who has thrown his support behind Guaido, claimed on Wednesday that the coup attempt was not defeated and that his government had information on cracks in the Venezuelan military.
Bolsonaro’s remarks have also been contradicted by his top security adviser, who said on Tuesday that military support for Guaido appeared to be weak and a mass mutiny was not clear.
Bolsonaro’s vice president has also opposed a possible military intervention in Venezuela to oust Maduro.
During a visit to Washington last month, Bolsonaro said he would not rule out a military action in line with his US counterpart Donald Trump, who has repeatedly threatened Caracas with military invasion.
Brazil, though, announced this week that it would not allow other nations to use its territory for any potential intervention in Venezuela.
Following the failed coup attempt, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed threats against Caracas and said on Wednesday that Washington may use military force to remove Maduro from power.
“The president [Trump] has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent,” said Pompeo. “Military action is possible.”
Drop support for Caracas: Pompeo to Russia
The US secretary of state will be meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Finland next week to discuss the Venezuela crisis.
They will take up “a broad range of issues” when they meet on the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting starting Monday in the northern Finnish city of Rovaniemi, said a US official.
Russia slams US ‘destructive’ interference in VenezuelaUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov traded accusations in a phone call Wednesday that the other power was destabilizing Venezuela.
Lavrov said Popmpeo spoke with him on the phone on Wednesday, calling on Moscow to abandon support for the Venezuelan elected government.
“Pompeo phoned, called for us to refuse to support Maduro, called for Cuba and us not to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela. The whole story sounds quite surreal,” Lavrov said on Thursday.
“If you count up all that official representatives of the American administration say about Venezuela, then you can pose questions endlessly and to all these questions the answer will be, to put it diplomatically: It’s untrue,” he said.
Pompeo claimed earlier that Maduro was ready to leave the South American country, but that unspecified Russians persuaded him to stay put.
Russia vocally opposes US measures against Venezuela and accuses Washington of attempting to organize a coup there in violation of the United Nations Charter.