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US government denies plan to invade Venezuela but does not dismiss military option

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  • Thu, 07/05/2018 - 17:07
Trump - Maduro
  • Elpais.hn

The authorities denied today that the government of President Donald Trump reached the point last year to plan a military invasion of Venezuela but acknowledged that the option remains on the table as one of many possible tools to "help the Venezuelan people" to "recover democracy".

"An invasion was not planned," a spokesman for the National Security Council of the White House (NSC), the body responsible for centralizing Washington's foreign, military and intelligence policy, told Efe.

The source stressed, however, that the country will continue to consider "all the options available to it," including the military, "to help the people of Venezuela recover democracy, stability and prosperity."

The spokesman, who requested anonymity, reacted to press reports released Wednesday, according to which Trump suggested in August last year some of its top advisers the possibility of invading Venezuela.

The source confirmed that Trump asked for the military way but said he wanted to "ask for options" to his team to have a range between which to choose before the "humanitarian disaster that was taking place in Venezuela".

"He asked about the military option, about humanitarian aid, about sanctions, about international cooperation against the regime of (Venezuelan President, Nicolás) Maduro, it was one (option) within a series of different things," he said.

The official did not clarify if there were serious talks about the possibility of an invasion.

Although many details of this conversation have not been revealed, it is known that it took place months ago since Trump presented this option during a meeting with the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and the National Security Adviser of the White House, H.R. McMaster, who are no longer part of the Executive.

The important thing, he said, is that the country "has not taken military action" for now in Venezuela, although "it will continue to consider all options" because no government would dismiss them in a situation like that faced by the Caribbean country.

The spokesman described some information released in mass media on the subject of "sensationalists", because they arrive many "months later" of the episode and "they focus only on one of the options" that the US has considered, without paying attention to their acting in practice.

"President Trump has motivated the international community to work together to push the Maduro dictatorship to change its autocratic behavior," the spokesman said.

The source stressed the international sanctions imposed on the Maduro Executive and the 30 million dollars in humanitarian aid that the Government has granted for Venezuelan refugees in the region.

In August of last year the US president said publicly that he did not dismiss a "military option" to solve the "very dangerous mess" that Venezuela was going through, then engulfed in a wave of anti-government protests that killed more than 120 people.

Just a day after these statements, Nicolás Maduro Guerra, son of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, warned Trump the oil country would respond with "rifles in New York" and take over the White House in the event of a US military invasion.

The relations between the United States and Venezuela has been especially entrenched since Trump took office in January 2017.

As a result of this tense relationship, in recent months, the White House has applied numerous sanctions against Venezuelan officials and companies, and has even promoted a resolution to begin the process to suspend Venezuela from the Organization of American States (OAS).

 

Source: ACAN/EFE

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