Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guiadó is again signaling interest in U.S. military involvement in Venezuela. He tells The Washington Post he made a mistake by thinking he had more support in the Venezuelan military than socialist dictator-in-chief Nicolas Maduro.
In an exclusive interview with The Washington Post, Guaidó suggested that he expected Maduro to step down amid a groundswell of defectors within the military. Instead, Guaidó’s call for the rank and file and senior brass to abandon Maduro did not produce mass defections. Maduro’s security forces then quelled street protests and left Guaidó’s U.S.-backed opposition on its heels.
“Maybe because we still need more soldiers, and maybe we need more officials of the regime to be willing to support it, to back the constitution,” Guaidó said. “I think the variables are obvious at this point.”
The realization has Guiadó looking at other options.
Asked what he would do if national security adviser John Bolton called him up with an offer of U.S. intervention, Guaidó said he would reply: “Dear friend, ambassador John Bolton, thank you for all the help you have given to the just cause here. Thank you for the option, we will evaluate it, and will probably consider it in parliament to solve this crisis. If it’s necessary, maybe we will approve it.”…
Guaidó said he welcomed recent deliberations on military options in Washington, calling them “great news.”
“That’s great news to Venezuela because we are evaluating all options. It’s good to know that important allies like the U.S. are also evaluating the option. That gives us the possibility that if we need cooperation, we know we can get it.”
He added: “I think today there are many Venezuelan soldiers that want to put an end to [leftist guerrillas], and help humanitarian aid get in, who would be happy to receive cooperation to end usurpation. And if that includes the cooperation of honorable countries like the United States, I think that would be an option.”
He might as well be waving a sign which says, “America! Come here to make sure I can be in power! I promise to just be a socialist-lite, not another Maduro!”
This request should be rejected from all levels of the U.S. government from the White House to the State Department to the Pentagon to Congress. There is no reason for the U.S. to be involved in Venezuela unless it is as an independent party looking to bring both sides together for a resolution. This isn’t happening which is beyond disappointing and par for the course when it comes to foreign policy over the past 100 or so years.
How is the Trump Administration treating this plea from Guiadó? U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo didn’t address it on Fox News Sunday.
I’m not going to talk about all the various conversations that have taken place. We continue to work with leaders down there. The Lima Group continues to work with leaders on the ground. The Organization of American States continues to work with leaders on the ground.
If you think about where this country was 90 days ago, the Venezuelan people should be very proud. They’re much closer to having democracy restored and having their country back on the right track than they were 90 days ago.
Pompeo did say he didn’t want anyone involved in Venezuela which is rather amusing considering the fact he admitted the U.S. was involved via The Lima Group and OAS. Hypocrisy much?
The biggest problem with U.S. involvement in Venezuela is the fact it could cause more problems down the line. There are Maduro hardliners still in the country who would more than likely try to either wage of guerrilla campaign against Guaidó or whoever follows him into office or reject any sort of American diplomacy should the hardliners end up back in power. Maduro enjoys railing against what he thinks is American interference – regardless if it exists – much like Hugo Chavez before him.
Aiding Guiadó could also hurt America’s relations with other countries in Central and South America. Don’t forget FARC in Bolivia offered to help Chavez and vice versa. There is no doubt other anti-American groups would see this as an opportunity to sow discord with U.S. allies in the region. Causing more problems in Venezuela with an invasion or some sort of bombing campaign would not solve anything.
What’s going on in Venezuela is awful. However, it’s not worth risking more U.S. lives – whether they be military or civilian. Guiadó’s desire for American military involvement is not a wise desire. His policies really are no different than Maduro’s except perhaps a little less top-heavy from an administrative standpoint. Helping with negotiations is fine. An armed invasion – especially with no vote in Congress on war – is not.