Venezuela's Guaido won't rule out US intervention to force Maduro's hand

10 February, 2019, 03:55 | Author: Donnie King
  • Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a gathering in support of his government in Caracas

The Donald Trump administration expects further military defections from Maduro's side, the official told Reuters in an interview, despite only a few senior officers having done so since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president last month, earning the recognition of the United States and dozens of other countries.

"The principle battlefront at the moment is over humanitarian aid". To convince those on-the-fence members to abandon Maduro, the U.S. must offer something that makes a turncoat move worthwhile, noted Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas think tank in Washington.

As Common Dreams reported, Guaido's move to declare himself "interim president"-which was denounced by experts and activists as the beginnings of a possible coup-was highly coordinated with the Trump White House, which vowed ahead of time to back the opposition leader in his attempt to seize power".

Even though Maduro is unlikely to ever wave the USA aid through, the continuing to stockpile food and medicine at Venezuela's border with Colombia.

Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the provision of aid a "show" and a "message to humiliate the people".

"The risk, it seems to me, is that if you continually threaten - even if it's only implicitly - the use of military force, and the people you're trying to shift just don't budge and they remain in power, and you've applied sanctions which are going to make the humanitarian emergency much, much worse - so you're looking at a situation that's actually worse than when you started applying this remedy - then the temptation to use force and the pressure to use force will become much greater". Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro slammed that as an attempted coup and severed diplomatic ties with the US.

The opposition considers the presidency of Maduro, who has been the head of state since 2013, to be illegitimate after he won "fraudulent" election last May without any meaningful competition.

The former political prisoner, who lives with his family in an upscale Caracas suburb and spoke exclusively to The Post last week, refused to be identified for fear of being rounded up by roving bands of paramilitaries sent by "an increasingly desperate Maduro" to crack down on opposition, he said.

Consultants Eurasia Group said on Thursday that Maduro's traditonal allies Russian Federation and China are "unlikely to lend (him) meaningful support", reinforcing its view that the socialist leader "will be unable to sustain his regime".

Offering a counter-point to Washington's hard-line stance, the European Union and a group of Latin American governments that has kept a moderate line on Venezuela called for dialogue and fresh elections.

Speaking in its inaugural meeting in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, the EU-backed International Contact Group on Venezuela said overly forceful intervention could aggravate the crisis in the country.

"Only this way can Venezuela realising lasting stability".

The contact group seeks a solution to Venezuela's political and economic crisis through dialogue and new presidential elections.



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