The United States is at the heart of Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó’s call for an uprising to oust dictator Nicolás Maduro, the rogue regime’s foreign minister claimed on Tuesday.
In the same breath, Maduro’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza also denied there was a military coup attempt underway, describing the uprising as a revolt carried out at the behest of the United States, not the Venezuelan military.
Arreaza told Reuters in an interview published Tuesday, “It is not a coup attempt from the [Venezuelan] military. This is directly planned in Washington, in the Pentagon and Department of State, and by [National Security Advisor John] Bolton.”
“They [Americans] are leading this coup and giving orders to this man Guaidó,” he argued, further saying, “We are not threatening anyone with the use of violence. It’s the United States, it’s the opposition.”
“The US hand has been behind all attempts at coups since 2001 and this time they are not behind, but they are ahead,” Arreaza also told the state-run Russia Today (RT).
“Here it is demonstrated that the Americans are at the root of this coup d’état and it is they who are financing and promoting the coup d’état,” the minister added.
Arreaza noted that the [anti-dictator Nicolas Maduro] pronouncements of senior US government officials, such as Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, or National Security Advisor, John Bolton, are a sample of how the US has intervened openly in the political situation of Venezuela.
The minister claimed the Maduro regime remains open to dialogue with Guaidó’s camp despite its links to the United States. For months, the United Nations have been urging talks between the two.
Trump, who along with about 50 nations recognize Guaidó as the interim president, insists all options are on the table when it comes to transitioning Venezuela away from Maduro, potentially including military action.
Echoing other assessments, Bolton, an ardent critic of the South American country’s socialist leaders, told reporters on Tuesday the Guaidó’s uprising is “not a coup,” but rather an attempt by a democratically legitimate interim president to restore the Venezuelan government’s legitimacy rather than overthrow it.
Bolton went public on Tuesday with his support for the uprising, pledging that “the United States stands with the people of Venezuela” while slamming Maduro’s “usurpation of democracy.”
Trying to downplay the insurrection, Maduro’s foreign minister alleged that only an estimated 30 Venezuelan soldiers support the uprising, noting that the plot is “another chapter” of an American effort to oust the dictator and his cronies from power.
“This is 30 [troops backing Guaido] out of about 200,000, so it is almost nothing,” he reportedly asserted.
This week, Guaidó called for a military uprising to remove Maduro.
During a discussion on Capitol Hill on Tuesday sponsored by the Center for a Secure Free Society (SFS), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and independent experts noted that Russia has surfaced as Maduro’s primary weapons provider and overall defense ally, warning that Moscow “is building a security infrastructure in our backyard with [anti-U.S. regimes in] Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.” Meanwhile, China serves as the dictator’s purse for financial loans and purchases of domestic products such as oil. Beijing also supplies Maduro with technology to keep track of dissenters in Venezuela.
For years, the U.S. military has warned about the presence of Iran, its narco-jihadi proxy Hezbollah, China, and Russia in Latin America and the Caribbean, noting they are all trying to undermine America’s influence and fill the vacuum left by years of gradual retreat by the United States.
Asked about Maduro’s top foreign backers, Joseph Humire, the executive director of SFS, told Breitbart News:
In terms of money, it’s China. In terms of military armament, it’s Russia. In terms of the network are Iran and Cuba. Cuba manages the communist network and Iran the clandestine Arab network, which is larger than the former.
Minister Arreaza alleged to the state-run Russia Today (RT) that “916,050 square kilometers” – nearly 99 percent of Venezuela– remains under the control of Maduro.
“He is in his place of command as always, and he is in control of the situation. He is making government decisions every day,” Arreaza told Reuters, referring to Maduro.
Echoing other Trump administration officials, Bolton did not rule out military action to push Maduro out.
Denunciamos al mundo las acciones violentas de la oposición golpista en Venezuela. Ésto es lo que apoyan y celebran algunos gobiernos de derecha en América Latina. Dicen que quieren soluciones pacíficas y a la vez apoyan a los violentos y golpistas. https://t.co/kC808OsCmK
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) April 30, 2019
Via Twitter on Tuesday. Arreaza also accused Colombia of backing the uprising and working with the United States to try to remove Maduro.