Top Maduro Official: U.S. ‘Likely’ to Start ‘All-Out War’ with Venezuela

Diosdado Cabello, a prominent politician close to the Venezuelan government, in the genera
Rayner Pena/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Socialist leader and senior regime official Diosdado Cabello warned this weekend that Venezuela’s armed forces are prepared for “all-out war” with the United States, adding that it is “likely” that the U.S. military will soon carry out an invasion of the country.

Addressing parliamentarians at the Sao Paulo Forum in Caracas during a meeting of the region’s far-left regimes, Cabello said that the U.S. “realizes” the willingness of the Venezuelan military to fend off any U.S.-led intervention.

“We say without arrogance that if they want it, we are already prepared for an all-out war of our people in defense of our homeland and our peace,” said Cabello. “We are a little, small country. We are humble, very humble, yet American marines are likely to enter here. They are likely to enter. Their problem will be trying to get out.”

“Here, 200 years ago, we overthrew the most powerful empire of in the world, and we were not so prepared nor so united,” he added.

Cabello, widely seen as the second most powerful man in Venezuela as the alleged leader of the regime’s illegal drug trafficking operations, made the comments come amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela. Unlike dictator Maduro, Cabello is a military veteran and has close ties to senior soldiers loyal to the Chavista regime that Maduro cannot so reliably count on.

Last week, the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) accused a Venezuelan fighter jet of approaching U.S. aircraft in international airspace at an “unsafe distance,” thus “endangering the safety of the crew and jeopardizing” the aircraft’s mission.”

The socialist regime has long sought to promote hysteria about a possible conflict between the U.S. and Venezuela, capitalizing on President Donald Trump’s repeated refusal to rule out a military solution to removing Maduro from power and instigating a transition to democracy in the crisis-stricken country.

Last November, Cabello made similar comments about the preparations of the Venezuelan military, praising the “great conscience” of the increasingly disaffected armed forces.

“The United States offers our military amnesty. If you rise up against Maduro, you will be forgiven. As if the military had something to be forgiven for. Is it wrong to love our country? To defend it?” he said at the time. “Our Armed Forces, I believe, are prepared to resist those attacks of the North American imperialism and of the European Union, because they have a great conscience.”

Maduro has also made similar threats, repeatedly threatening to kill U.S. troops while preparing for potential conflicts. Last December, the 55-year-old dictator warned U.S. and allied troops that they would “not make it out alive” in the event of an invasion.

“You must be ready to go to the heart of the enemy who dares touch Venezuelan soil – to go to the heart of the enemy and to tear out his heart in his own territory,” he declared a military ceremony in Caracas, before calling on a supposed 1.6 million-member civilian force “armed to the teeth” to guarantee the country was “impregnable and untouchable.”

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