Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) indicated in a Spanish-language interview with Univisión last week that the United States should consider a military intervention in Venezuela.
In the interview with Miami’s Univisión 23 last Wednesday, Rubio said that a military intervention may be justified on the grounds of national security.
“For months and years, I wanted the solution in Venezuela to be a non-military and peaceful solution, simply to restore democracy,” he said. “There is a national assembly elected by the people that has been annulled by a dictatorship.”
“I believe that the Armed Forces of the United States are only used in the event of a threat to national security,” he continued. “I believe that there is a very strong argument that can be made at this time that Venezuela and the Maduro regime has become a threat to the region and even to the United States.”
The State Department has recognized Venezuela as presenting a genuine national security threat to the United States. The Maduro regime is allegedly involved in major drug trafficking operations, and also providing safe havens and training facilities for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and the Islamic State.
Rubio has long been a campaigner against both the Chávez regime and the current socialist regime. Prominent Maduro henchman Diosdado Cabello reportedly hired a hitman to assassinate Rubio in 2017, a claim the regime denies. He is understood to have President Donald Trump’s ear on directing his policy towards Cuba and Venezuela, where the U.S. has rolled back the lifting of sanctions under Barack Obama’s ‘Cuban Thaw’ and imposed sanctions on the Maduro regime designed to cripple the country’s vital oil sector.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 29, 2018
Bolivia’s socialist strongman Evo Morales, a close ally of dictator Nicolás Maduro, responded to Rubio by saying that the United States presents the real threat to world security.
“Senator Marco Rubio, warns of using the Empire’s army against the people of Venezuela because he assumes a “threat” against the security of the US,” Morales wrote on Twitter. “With its history of interventionism and military coups d’état in the world, the US is the real threat to humankind.”
Senator Marco Rubio, warns of using the Empire's army against the people of Venezuela because he assumes a "threat" against the security of the US. With its history of interventionism and military coups d'état in the world, the US is the real threat to humankind.
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) September 1, 2018
Last month, the Associated Press reported that Trump pressed his aides on whether to use a military option in Venezuela, an idea allegedly met with strong opposition by regional leaders including then-Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. The Mercosur trade bloc comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay also warned that “the only acceptable means of promoting democracy are dialogue and diplomacy” while opposing “any option that implies the use of force.”
Despite opposition to the proposal among some Latin American powers, many Venezuelan exiles and those within the anti-socialist protest movement appear to be warming to the idea of the U.S. toppling Maduro through military action. One of those is the former Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations and Governor of Caracas, Diego Arria, who now lives in exile from New York.
“Venezuela has not only morphed into a narco-state with full control of the military but has allowed a Cuban occupation of 40,000 civilian and intelligence agents of its territory, as well as the control of its police and military forces,” Arria told Breitbart News. “How else could it liberate itself if not by outside intervention?”
Others have asked Trump to open a “humanitarian corridor” to the struggling Venezuelan people that would likely involve the use of military personnel, with millions now living in dire poverty and in desperate need of food, medicine, and other essential resources. Thousands of people are now fleeing to seek refuge in neighboring countries including Colombia and Brazil, while asylum requests to the United States are expected to surpass 20,000 by the end of this year.