The supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro say they will fight “tooth and nail” for him, amid speculation that the United States is preparing to invade the Latin American country to overthrow his government in the midst of anti-Maduro protests.
In the past couple of weeks, anti-government protests in the capital, Caracas, and other major cities have put Venezuela in political turmoil, with the opposition blaming Maduro over an ailing economy, hyperinflation, power cuts, and shortages of basic items.
Political crisis deepened in the country on January 23, when opposition figure Juan Guaido, a lawmaker who also leads the National Assembly, proclaimed himself the “interim president” of the country. United States President Donald Trump officially recognized him as such minutes later.
Washington then called on other countries to follow suit in recognizing Guaido, who had been an unknown figure until recently, stressing that Maduro’s government was illegitimate. It further placed tough sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm PDVSA and certified the authority of Guaido to control certain assets held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or any other US-insured banks.
‘If the Americans set foot on Venezuelan soil...’
On Monday, Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton was seen at a news briefing in Washington holding a notepad that displayed the words “5,000 troops to Colombia.” That set off speculation that the US is preparing for an invasion of Venezuela, which Washington has not formerly ruled out.
Venezuela’s Ambassador to the US Jorge Valero said on Tuesday that Washington was preparing for an invasion of his country.