The US government is sending out fresh warnings of a possible US invasion of Venezuela if Guaido is arrested or killed:
A military intervention to oust Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro remains “a very serious option” for the United States, according to President Trump’s national security team.
“Obviously, that’s a result that no one would like to see but clearly one that is seriously considered as events unfold,” a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters Friday evening.
President Trump’s team has wielded that threat to deter any attack by Maduro loyalists on Juan Guaidó, the opposition lawmaker whom the U.S. and other Western democracies recognized as Venezuela’s legitimate interim president in January. Maduro has defied that pressure by retaining control of the military and loyalty of “colectivos,” the paramilitary gangs that blocked the U.S. delivery of humanitarian aid to the country in February.
“The truth is the Maduro regime built up this network of colectivos as its own private security force to protect its grip on power and violently resist any effort to dislodge it from power,” Rubio said.
The Florida Republican might already have an ally in Vice President Mike Pence, who warned earlier Friday that “narco-trafficking, terrorists, criminal syndicates that emanate from a collapsing society in Venezuela endanger nations throughout our hemisphere.”
The intensifying rhetoric comes just two weeks after Luis Almagro, the secretary-general of the Organization of American States and the original international scourge of Maduro, argued that world powers have a “responsibility to protect” the Venezuelan people from the regime.
Washington has been attempting to squeeze Venezuela through sanctions. Adding to the stress on the Maduro regime is the blackouts which have effectively shut down Venezuelan oil production.
With the lights out, there will soon be questions as to how the regime will continue to feed its loyal supporters.
How much more stress can Venezuela take before the government finally cracks?