May 12, 2019
After his latest coup attempt against the elected government of President Nicolas Maduro quickly fell flat, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Saturday said he has moved to open "direct communications" with Pentagon officials with the goal of establishing greater military "coordination" with the United States.
According to the Associated Press, Guaido announced during a rally Saturday that he has "instructed his political envoy in Washington to immediately open relations with the U.S. military in a bid to bring more pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to resign."
"The leader said he's asked Carlos Vecchio, who the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela's ambassador, to open 'direct communications' toward possible military 'coordination,'" AP reported. "The remarks... mark one of his strongest public pleas yet for greater U.S. involvement in the country's fast-escalating crisis."
Guaido's open call for direct U.S. military involvement in his coup effort comes after the opposition leader's so-called "military uprising" against the Maduro government sparked chaos in the streets of Venezuela, but ultimately fizzled out after several days.
Trump administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser John Bolton, enthusiastically backed the coup plotters while rejecting the characterization of Guaido's push to topple Venezuela's elected government as a coup attempt.
As it became clear that Guaido's uprising would not succeed in ousting Maduro, White House officials intensified threats of U.S. military intervention, which progressive critics argue would have disastrous consequences for Venezuela and the region.
"The president has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent--military action is possible," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Fox Business interview earlier this month. "In the event that there comes a moment--and we'll all have to make decisions about when that moment is and the president will ultimately have to make that decision--he's prepared to do that if that's what's required."
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