On February 9th, US-proclaimed Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaido said that he would not rule out authorizing a US military intervention in the country.
He still said he had faith in the Venezuelan armed forces.
“The armed forces have a huge dilemma, whether or not to accept the aid. It would be almost miserable at this point of huge necessity not to accept it,” he said.
“Inhibiting the entry of this aid could be seen as a crime against humanity.”
Guaido said the military has to decide whether to “take the side of the constitution” or to “continue on the side of an increasingly isolated dictator.”
But he said “fear” was preventing more top ranking members of the armed forces from switching sides and joining air force general Francisco Yanez who last weekend disavowed Maduro.
“We’ve seen some National Guard sergeants who’ve shown unhappiness and they’re being tortured. One of the sergeants’ relatives is missing.”
He received an immediate response on Twitter by a Republican Senator and member of the House Armed Services Committee, Ro Khanna.
Notably, the tweet was deleted shortly after being posted.
“Mr. Guaido, you can proclaim yourself leader of Venezuela but you don’t get to authorize US military interventions. Only the US Congress can do that. We will not. https://t.co/rbPldFOnOZ
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) February 9, 2019”
Khanna also slammed the Trump administration’s recognition of Guaido as Interim President in January.
“The United States should not anoint the leader of the opposition in Venezuela during an internal, divided conflict,” Khanna said in a statement last month.”There is no doubt the Maduro’s economic policies have been terrible, and he has engaged in financial mismanagement and also political authoritarianism. But crippling sanctions and threats of military action are making life worse for ordinary Venezuelans.”
Meanwhile, another Venezuelan officer defected to the opposition’s side. Active-duty Venezuelan army colonel and military doctor Ruben Paz Jimenez said in a video released on February 9th that: “Ninety percent of us in the armed forces are really unhappy. We are being used to keep them in power.”
Furthermore, the US-sanctioned Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA is telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds to an account recently opened at Russia’s Gazprombank AO, Reuters reported on February 9th citing anonymous sources and documents the outlet had seen.
“We would like to make formal your knowledge of new banking instructions to make payments in U.S. dollars or euros,” wrote PDVSA’s finance vice president, Fernando De Quintal, in a letter dated Feb. 8 to the PDVSA unit that supervises its joint ventures.
Separately, US National Security Adviser lost no time in mocking Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. During a speech, Maduro was interrupted twice – first by lights flickering, and then the electricity shutting off for several seconds.
Bolton tweeted his “attack” both in English and Spanish.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) February 9, 2019
It happened while Maduro was explaining that the humanitarian aid that the opposition is planning to cross into Venezuela from Colombia is part of a Washington plan to intervene in the South American nation.
According to Bloomberg, in the dark, Maduro asked his Electricity Minister Luis Motta Dominguez what was going on.
“Let me check,” he responded.
“You should already know,” Maduro replied.
EN VIDEO ? ? Apagón en Caracas deja sin luz a Nicolás Maduro durante conferencia de prensa en el Palacio de Miraflores. pic.twitter.com/ChMtc1INBV
— ERIK ENCINAS ORTEGA (@ERIKEO5555) February 8, 2019
The indigenous Venezuelan tribe, the Pemon, who live along the border with Brazil vowed to allow any foreign aid that may arrive to the country.
Six leaders of the Pemon community residing in the “Gran Sabana” municipality bordering Brazil told Reuters that the population’s pressing needs should trump any politicization of humanitarian aid.
“We are physically prepared – without weapons – and willing to open the border to receive the humanitarian aid,” Gran Sabana Mayor Emilio Gonzalez told Reuters. “Neither the National Guard not the government can stop this.”
“We are the natives of Gran Sabana and we will not allow some generals from outside to decide for us,” said Jorge Perez, the region’s councilman for indigenous communities. “We are the legitimate authorities.”
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Pompeo Attempts to Link Iran, Hezbollah to Crisis in Venezuela
- Maduro: US ‘Humanitarian Aid’ Is Attempt To Justify Military Agression
- Venezuela To Redirect US Oil Exports To Customers In Europe & Asia
- US Gives Venezuela’s Opposition Leader Juan Guaido Control Over Some Assets