Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Saturday he has asked his envoy to the United States to meet with Pentagon officials to “cooperate” on a solution to the South American country’s political crisis.
Guaido, the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, added he had received word from China that the country would join a diplomatic effort between European and Latin American countries, known as the International Contact Group on Venezuela, to negotiate an end to the crisis.
Venezuela is hit by more violent protests as Maduro locks opposition leader Juan Guaido's deputy up in a military prison https://t.co/aJvA4Yk9XZ
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) May 11, 2019
In January, Guaido invoked the OPEC nation’s constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate. He has been recognized by most Western and Latin American countries, but Maduro has retained the support of allies China, Russia and Cuba.
Guaido’s effort to oust Maduro so he can take power and call new elections has stalled in recent weeks, after an attempted military uprising on April 30 was put down. Guaido told an Italian newspaper this week that he would “probably” accept a U.S. military intervention if the United States proposed it.
The subversion of democracy and sponsorship of repression in Venezuela by foreign military actors, namely Cuba, Russia, and Iran, will not be tolerated. Those actors are on notice.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) May 10, 2019
In response to increasing acts of intimidation by the former Maduro regime, the U.S. has determined that #Venezuela defense & security sector is subject to sanctions. Malign actors like Russia & Cuba enabling repression of the people should take notice. #EstamosUnidosVE
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) May 10, 2019
“We have instructed our ambassador Carlos Vecchio to meet immediately … with the Southern Command and its admiral to establish a direct relationship,” Guaido said at a rally in Caracas on Saturday. “We have said from the beginning that we will use all the resources at our disposal to build pressure.”
Representatives of the U.S. Southern Command and Vecchio did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Trump administration officials have repeatedly said that “all options are on the table” to oust Maduro, who calls Guaido a U.S. puppet seeking to oust him in a coup.
The Southern Command said in a tweet on Thursday that it was prepared to discuss “how we can support the future role” of Venezuelan armed forces leaders who “restore constitutional order,” when invited by Guaido.
Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino separately said on Saturday that a U.S. Coast Guard ship had entered Venezuelan territorial waters, which he said “we will not accept.”
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) May 10, 2019
During today’s protests the people of Venezuela are once again demonstrating their thirst for freedom. They are resilient and will not stop.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) May 11, 2019
A Southern Command spokesman had said on Friday that a U.S. Coast Guard vessel was conducting a “counterdrug detection and monitoring mission” in “international waters” in the Caribbean Sea on May 9.
Guaido was speaking at a rally in support of opposition lawmakers who have been arrested, taken refuge at foreign embassies in Caracas, and been threatened in recent days amid a broad crackdown by Maduro against congress after the April 30 uprising.
Most Latin American countries, as well as the European Union, have expressed opposition to potential military intervention in Venezuela. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said last week the contact group is prepared to begin a “mission at the political level” in Caracas.
3 nations that have long defined themselves as bitter adversaries of the United States — North Korea, Iran and Venezuela — are now challenging President Trump, betting that he is neither as savvy a negotiator nor as ready to use military force as he claims https://t.co/RYfqoyLhHu
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 11, 2019
Stand up to Bolton/Pompeo now. Venezuela is just the 1st of their hit jobs. Rally for peace at the embassy Sat. to stop war on VZ now & more perilous conflicts to come: Iran, Cuba, Russia, China & beyond . https://t.co/CTaWpdZcrl
— Dr. Jill Stein???? (@DrJillStein) May 11, 2019
Author: Reuters Wire
Source: Thefederalistpapers: Venezuela’s Guaido Reaches Out to Trump, Pentagon to Solve Emergency Crisis