Venezuela: Guaidó Will ‘Evaluate’ Requesting U.S. Military Presence

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido addresses supporters during a meeting in Caracas [Federico Parra/AFP]
Federico Parra/AFP

Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaidó, recognized by the United States and over 50 other nations as the legitimate leader of his country, suggested on Sunday that he may ask President Donald Trump to intervene directly against socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro.

“I think President Trump’s position is firm, which we appreciate, as does the entire world,” Guaidó said in an interview with the BBC.

Guaidó said it would be “responsible to evaluate” all contingencies, including a request for American intervention.

“I, as the president in charge of the national parliament, will evaluate all options if necessary,” he said.

Although Guaidó’s effort to peel military support away from Maduro and unseat the dictator failed last week, he insisted it is now “clearly visible that the armed forces no longer support Maduro.”

“He has been losing again and again. He is increasingly weak, increasingly alone, and has no international support. On the contrary, we gain acceptance, support and future options,” he said.

The U.S. has indicated “all options are on the table” for Venezuela, without discussing specific plans for military intervention. U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump himself, have told foreign powers like Russia and Cuba they must withdraw their forces from Venezuela and stop protecting Maduro.

“Oh, make no mistake, we have a full range of options that we’re preparing for,” Pompeo said on Sunday when asked if military intervention was a possibility.

“That’s part of what we were doing on Friday was making sure that when this progresses and a different situation arises, that the president has a full-scale set of options: diplomatic options, political options, options with our allies, and then ultimately a set of options that would involve use of U.S. military,” Pompeo said.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, speaking after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, said his government is “ready for all scenarios” and if the United States chooses a “military path,” the Maduro regime has “an armed force, a people, a national guard that will be able not just to resist and fight, but also to win.”

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