United States Forces Ready to Attack Venezuela

The U.S. military is "on the balls of our feet" and awaits instructions from President Donald Trump, officials say.

The United States is ready to attack Venezuela by the end of the year, according to U.S. Southern Commander Craig S. Faller.

RELATED: President Maduro Rejects Bolsonaro's Military Invasion Threats

The U.S. is particularly concerned over growing Chinese, Russian and Cuban influence in its hemisphere. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton stated in an interview that "President Trump is determined not to see Venezuela fall under the sway of foreign powers." He has a custom of refering to the racist Monroe Doctrine, which considers Latin America to be the U.S. own backyard where it can do as it pleases.

This is however the first time that a member of the U.S. military leadership has spoken out about a possible military intervention against Venezuela. Faller stated that the US military is "on the balls of our feet" and awaits instructions from President Donald Trump. 

Faller refused to give further details about what exactly he meant, but compared the situation with war-torn Syria.

"The crisis in Venezuela could approach that degree by the end of this year if Maduro still remains in power," he added.

Meanwhile, the United States government has approved a set of aggressive sanctions that seek to economically choke the people of Venezuela and isolate the country from the rest of the world. 

Allies of the Bolivarian Republic have since stepped up efforts to provide aid in the forms of medicine and surgical equipment to Venezuela and promised to continue their work with the legitimate government of Venezuela under President Nicolas Maduro as they oppose U.S. diplomatic and economic aggressions.

 

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Bolton says Trump ‘very serious’ about ‘all options’ as Venezuela dismantles ‘terrorist cell’

Donald Trump is not kidding when he says “all options” to topple Maduro are open, National Security Adviser John Bolton said, as the Venezuelan government busted wannabe president Juan Guaido’s aide for running a terrorist cell.

“President Trump himself has been clear on this point on any number of occasions when he says all options are on the table. I think people need to understand and believe that; he’s very serious about it,” Bolton told Breitbart.

While refusing to explicitly confirm or deny whether the US is willing to arm the opposition or is mulling an all-out invasion of the country, Bolton did stress that the US has “no higher duty internationally” than to protect up to 50,000 Americans living in Venezuela from “violence and intimidation.”

Also on rt.com Bolton’s ‘Monroe Doctrine’ remark on Venezuela arrogant & insulting to all of Latin America – Lavrov...

A similar concern for some 800 American students at the US-run St. George's University School of Medicine in Grenada was used as an excuse to invade that island nation in 1983 to oust the country’s leftist government. The tiny tropical paradise is located just 160 kilometers (99 miles) north of Venezuela.

Once again referencing the notorious Monroe Doctrine, Bolton essentially admitted the US plans to impose its hegemony over Venezuela, and to prevent Russia and China from even trying to help Caracas overcome its economic crisis – which the socialist government maintains was caused by US sanctions and the Washington-led global effort to isolate the country financially and politically.

Also on rt.com Lavrov’s deputy to war-hawk Abrams: Venezuela ‘aid’ op unacceptable, Russia to protect its interests...

“Our goal is to make sure these foreign influences are not controlling Venezuela and adversely affecting the United States and our interests in our own hemisphere,” he said. “So we’re talking here about wresting control away from a socialist autocracy and keeping the Monroe Doctrine alive in the Western Hemisphere to have powers outside the hemisphere not dictating what goes on here.”

Also on rt.com ‘Armed terrorist cell’: Venezuela’s Interior Minister confirms arrest of Guaido’s aide...

Maduro made another “big mistake” when he arrested Roberto Marrero, the aide of self-proclaimed ‘interim’ president Guaido, Bolton stated earlier on Thursday, threatening that the move “will not go unanswered.”

Venezuelan security forces said they caught Marrero red-handed and accused him of being “directly responsible for the organization of criminal groups” and of plotting to carry out terrorist attacks against the public and senior government officials.

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US Congress Rejects Trump's Warmongering, Won't Support Military Intervention in Venezuela

Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel made the comments at the opening of a hearing on Venezuela.

Congress will not support U.S. military intervention in Venezuela despite hints by President Donald Trump that such action had not been ruled out, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said on Wednesday.

RELATED: Venezuela Confronts US-backed Right-wing Coup

"I do worry about the president's saber rattling, his hints that U.S. military intervention remains an option. I want to make clear to our witnesses and to anyone else watching: U.S. military intervention is not an option," U.S. Representative Eliot Engel said at the opening of a hearing the OPEC nation.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress has to approve foreign military action. Engel also warned about the possible effects on the Venezuelan people of U.S. sanctions on state oil company PDVSA. The United States in January imposed sanctions aimed at limiting President Nicolas Maduro's access to oil revenue.

"I appreciate the need to squeeze Maduro," Engel said. "But the White House must think through the potential repercussions that these sanctions could have on the Venezuelan people if Maduro does not leave office in the coming weeks."

Testifying at the hearing, Trump's pick to lead U.S. efforts on Venezuela, former U.S. diplomat and convicted war criminal Elliott Abrams, said Washington would keep up pressure on Maduro and his inner circle by "a variety of means."

"But we will also provide off-ramps to those who will do what is right for the Venezuelan people," he said.

Abrams drew intermittent protests at the start of the hearing. "You are a convicted criminal!" one man shouted before being escorted out of the room.

Abrams, assistant secretary of state during the administration of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, was convicted in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal. He was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.

The United States and its right-wing allies in Latin America have come out in support of a right-wing coup attempt against the Venezuelan government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro after they supported a decision by opposition lawmaker, named Juan Guaido, to declare himself an “interim president” of Venezuela on Jan. 23 in violation of the country’s constitution.

In return, Maduro has repeatedly called for the restoration of talks between his government and the opposition in order to maintain peace and avoid a U.S.-backed coup, or even military intervention by the United States in favor of removing him and placing an unelected right-wing government. 

Guiado and his allies Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his National Security advisor have so far responded to such calls by escalation and rejection of any dialogue. They continue to call for the military to intervene, while sources in the United States have revealed that Trump is “seriously considering” military intervention into Venezuela if Maduro does not step down.

To further the pressure, the United States imposed harsh economic sanction on the Venezuelan oil industry and its national oil company, while also blocking the bank accounts of the Venezuelan state in the United States, vowing to only remove such restrictions when Guiado achieves control of the state institutions.

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US ‘lost all sense of shame’ in handling Venezuelan crisis – Lavrov

Washington has no “sense of shame” in its response to the Venezuelan crisis, Russia’s foreign minister has said. He also lambasted the US-backed opposition for derailing talks with president Nicolas Maduro.

The latter signaled he is ready to have a face-to-face with his opponents in case they needed to be heard by the government, but the opposition chose to neglect the offer, “probably because they are guided by the US,” Sergey Lavrov commented on Tuesday.

American politicians “have lost all sense of shame when speaking of the way the situation in Venezuela should be dealt with,” he argued.While the remark by Russia’s top diplomat might sound over-emotional, various Washington officials indeed weren’t shy to suggest what should happen next to Venezuela. The Trump administration, for instance, continuously signaled that it was weighing up all actions against Venezuela, including military intervention.

In the meantime, Washington denied the mere possibility of talks with the Caracas government. As the State Department’s neocon appointee Elliott Abrams has put it, “the time for dialogue with Maduro has long passed.” In his view, Maduro could “manipulate” any negotiations to his advantage. 

At some point in the crisis, Washington also slapped sanctions on the state oil company, PDVSA, and its US subsidiary Citgo. Aside from that, the White House also promised $20 million in ‘humanitarian aid’ to the fledgling government of Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela. Notably, the UN and the International Red Cross (ICRC) have issued concerns that the US may misuse the delivery for own political goals.

“We will not be participating in what is, for us, not humanitarian aid,” Colombia’s ICRC spokesperson, Christoph Harnisch, said recently.

In a separate move, the opposition leader obtained access to Venezuelan assets held in US banks. On the political front, the US and European allies have been pressuring Maduro to set up a snap election, a demand that he rejected.

While resisting overwhelming Western pressure, Maduro has consistently said he believes in “dialogue and mutual understanding” between all Venezuelans. 

“[The] 21st century is a bad time for cannon fire and military intimidation,” he told RT in early February, adding, “it should be a century of dialogue, civilization, politics and respect [for] diversity.”

Meanwhile, nations such as Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran have thrown their weight behind Maduro, still recognizing him as the legitimate president and warning against foreign interference.

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Study: 80% of Venezuelans Oppose Foreign Intervention

The Vice President for Planning of Venezuela, Ricardo Menendez, indicated that the encirclement and financial sabotage by the US has generated losses of 60 billion dollars.

In an interview for teleSUR, Venezuela’s Vice President for Planning Ricardo Menendez said that about 80 percent of Venezuelans reject any interventionist action against the South American nation.

RELATED Venezuela: Long Lineups to Sign for Peace

Menendez indicated that the figure is derived from the recent study conducted by the Venezuelan Planning Institute over a period of two years.

The official said that the results of the analysis contrasts with the story the opposition has tried to write over the so-called crisis in the country.

The results of the study show 92 percent of people responded negatively to a military invasion of Venezuela and 86.5 percent rejected the financial sanctions imposed unilaterally by the U.S.

Ricardo Menendez said that the results of the study are a sample of how anti-imperialist thinking is intrinsic to the Venezuelan people.

For the past week, millions of Venezuelan citizens have also been lining up to sign on to an open letter that will be issued to U.S. citizens that ask for peace and non-intevention. 

During the interview, he said that since 2015 the Venezuelan opposition has maintained the idea that Venezuela is in a humanitarian crisis and that such an argument has been used to validate a military invasion.

He warned that Venezuela is the victim of a psychological war and assured that the siege and economic sabotage against the Bolivarian country has caused it to lose more than US$60 billion in the last three years.

Part of the psychological war is based on misinformation and fake news about humanitarian aid and access roads into the country, which include assertions of instability along the border of Colombia, and the closing of access roads that have been restricted for years.

 
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Guaido is not independent, no use talking to him – Russian Foreign Ministry

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido, coordinates his every step with a foreign country and Moscow sees no point in communicating with a dependent figure, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

When Guaido declared himself the interim president of Venezuela in late January, Moscow slammed the actions of the speaker of the opposition-dominated National Assembly as “an attempt to usurp power.” It insisted that no one but democratically-elected president Nicolas Maduro could be the legitimate leader of the country.

The latest comment comes from the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Latin American Department, Alexander Schetinin, and it’s the first time that Russia has directly spoken out about the poster-boy of the attempted coup in Venezuela.

Our analysis of the situation indicates that Guaido is an absolutely a non-independent politician.

“He coordinates his every step and receives a blessing for it from another country. Due to this fact, we don’t see any point in communicating with him,” Schetinin pointed out.

Read more ‘I don’t want to be a traitor’ – Maduro defies US pressure on Venezuela https://cdni.rt.com/...

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He didn’t specify what he meant by “another country,” but Guaido’s claim to power was vigorously supported by Washington, which swiftly declared him a legitimate interim president.

UK, France, Spain, and several other EU states followed the US example, but the opposition leader still lacks a bloc-wide endorsement, due to Italy’s stance. Russia denounced the move as “direct interference” in Venezuela’s internal affairs. Guaido was also rejected by China, Iran, and Turkey.

Despite making headlines worldwide, Guaido is a relatively new face on Venezuela’s political landscape. Many Venezuelans say they first heard of him when he declared himself president, while some of the foreign leaders, who endorse the man, are unable to pronounce his name correctly.

Media reports suggest that long-time opposition figure, with strong links to the US, Leopoldo Lopez, is the real mastermind here, despite remaining under house arrest in Caracas for provoking deadly clashes at an anti-government protest a few years ago.

Also on rt.com From zero to hero: How Venezuelan opposition leader Lopez made Juan Guaido the man of the day

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Peru President Rejects Military Intervention in Venezuela

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra said 'Venezuela's problems must be solved by Venezuelans themselves' and rejected any military intervention in the country.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra told the press on Monday that his government is against any military intervention in Venezuela since it’s up to its citizens to resolve the political situation in Venezuela. 

RELATED: UN Rejects Guaido, Favors Discourse With President Maduro

While Vizcarra said he does not support the current Venezuelan administration he stressed: "We believe that Venezuela's problems must be solved by Venezuelans themselves. … We are against any military intervention inside Venezuela."

Juan Guaido, an unknown opposition lawmaker declared himself "interim president" of Venezuela on Jan. 23 in violation of the country’s constitution and Supreme Court.

"We hope that an exit is found in a short time and this sister republic can be on its way to democracy, which is what we all want," said the head of state on Feb. 5 during a press conference from Cajamarca.

The president added that Peru’s Foreign Ministry will continue to dialogue with the Venezuelan government and its President Nicolas Maduro.

Peru is a founding member of the Lima Group bloc meant to pressure Maduro out of office. It was formed while the now-impeached president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was in office.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the U.N. is endorsing the regional meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay on Thursday that aims to promote a peaceful solution to the situation in Venezuela. The U.N. leader offered last week to mediate the meeting that will involve eight EU member states along with Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Uruguay.

 
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