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'Not Every Option Is on the Table': EU Leaders Reject Idea of US-Led Military Intervention in Venezuela

"What is explicitly quite clear, from our point of view, is that we need a peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution of this crisis," said an EU spokesperson. "This obviously excludes the use of force."

A man holds a paper with a speech that reads '¡Yankee go home!' during a demonstration by Venezuelans against foreign intervention under the slogan #VenezuelaQuierePaz (Venezuela Wants Peace) at United States Embassy on February 18, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo: Franco Fasuli/Getty Images)

The European Union and the Spanish government on Monday both rejected calls by the Trump administration and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to keep "every option on the table" to remove President Nicolas Maduro from power—saying they do not support, nor would they would participate, in military intervention.

"Not every option is on the table," Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told the Spanish news outlet Efe on Sunday. "We have clearly warned that we would not support—and would roundly condemn—any foreign military intervention, which is something we hope won't happen."

"We must avoid a military intervention," a spokeswoman for E.U. diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini, agreed. "What is explicitly quite clear, from our point of view, is that we need a peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution of this crisis. This obviously excludes the use of force."

The message from the EU and Borrell followed violence at the Venezuela-Colombia border over the weekend as Guaido supporters attempted to break through the Venezuelan border with food and medical supplies in what critics have characterized as a deliberate provocation disguised as a "humanitarian aid" mission led by the Trump administration. The U.S. has also led calls for the international community to recognize Guaido as the president of Venezuela.

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Vice President Mike Pence is set to meet with Guaido Monday and to outline "concrete steps" to oust Maduro at the Lima Group summit in Bogota.

Maduro has been condemned by human rights groups for his persecution of political opponents—but progressive leaders including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) have decried the Trump administration's support for Guaido, who declared himself interim president eight months after Maduro won re-election.  

"The solution in Venezuela can only be reached through a democratic solution agreed by Venezuelans and the calling of presidential elections," said Borrell.

At least four people were killed and hundreds were injured over the weekend as Guaido's supporters attempted to let the "humanitarian aid" mission through.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and the United Nations have both condemned the mission as politically-motivated—and critics including activist and musician Roger Waters have warned that the sending of aid which has not been requested by Venezuela's democratically-elected president is a step towards military intervention and regime change.

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