Self-declared “Interim President” Juan Guaido has obtained the setting up of a meeting with the US Armed Forces to talk about “cooperation” in his efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
At the time of a group of supporters in the upper middle class Caracas district of Las Mercedes on Saturday, Guaido advised that he was instructing his representative in the United States, Carlos Vecchio, to establish a “direct relationship” with the US Southern Command, which plans, oversees, and manages all US overt and covert military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Venezuelan officers were quick to respond to the opposition’s move, with Vice President Delcy Rodriguez qualifying it as “repulsive” and “doomed to fail.” Recent polls show that over 86 percent of Venezuelans oppose a foreign-led military incursion into the country.
While SouthCom is yet to confirm if they will meet Guaido’s team, Faller had earlier tweeted that he looked forward to discussing how to “restore the constitutional order” in Venezuela and that his forces stood “ready.”
Guaido and US officials have frequently stated that all possibilities, including military intervention, are “on the table.” However, other countries that have voiced assistance for Guaido have publicly refused the chance of intervention, including Chile, Peru, Colombia, Spain and Canada.
The overtures to the US SouthCom come on the heels of a failed military putsch on April 30 and various unheeded calls by Guaido for the Venezuelan armed forces to help him.
After swearing himself in as “interim president” on January 23, the National Assembly president obtained the backing of roughly twenty-five percent of the world’s governments. His failed efforts to get rid of the Maduro government, which included a humanitarian aid “showdown” on the Colombian-Venezuelan border, have seen his support dwindle in numbers.
Based on the Treasury Department, the firms and tankers have delivered crude oil from Venezuela to Cuba since late 2018. Venezuela provides around 50,000 barrels per day of crude to Cuba as a part of wide-ranging cooperation agreements including the occurrence of roughly 20,000 Cuban medical and agricultural technicians in Venezuela.
The sanctions follow related measures declared in April, while the Venezuelan economy has lately seen restrictions imposed on its banking and mining sectors, along with a de facto oil embargo.
Likewise, Guaido also called on those European countries which identify him as the “legitimate” president to “amplify” economic sanctions against Caracas this weekend, along with urging assistance in international courts to oust Maduro.
Sanctions have frequently been declared illegal by independent multilateral agencies. Recent comments from the UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy argued that the sanctions also violate human rights, while an April report from the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) mentioned that US economic sanctions have straight caused over 40,000 deaths in Venezuela since 2017.
Aside from calling for more sanctions, Guaido also recommended European governments to provide “maximum legitimacy” to his appointed representatives. European governments largely still have complete or partial diplomatic relations with the ambassadors called by the Maduro administration.
Efforts by Guaido’s representative in the US, Carlos Vecchio, to dominate the vacated embassy building in Washington also keep on being frustrated by several US solidarity movements who have been occupying the building, with the permission of the Venezuelan government, since April 12.
Based on US Southern Command spokesperson Colonel Amanda Azubuike, the vessel was carrying out “a mission to intercept drugs.”
As per the US Navy website, the USCG James is one of the most improved patrol vessels in its fleet, carrying modern surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, as well as being able to serve as a command post for “complex law enforcement and national security missions involving the Coast Guard and numerous partner agencies.”
The boundary incursion arrives as Caracas reopened its borders with Brazil and the Dutch island of Aruba on Friday, in attempts to enhance border trade. The borders had been shut for over three months since Guaido’s failed to make an effort to force humanitarian “aid” into the country on February 23.