US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stated that military action in Venezuela is possible “if that’s what’s required”, but he would prefer a peaceful transition, Fox business has reported.
The statement comes after Pompeo earlier told CNN that Maduro was ready to leave his country for Havana earlier in the day in light of the attempted coup, but was convinced by Moscow to stay in Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro himself slammed Pompeo’s claim, branding it a lie and manipulation. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, for his part, said that “fake news was a very sad way to acknowledge that a coup supported by the United States failed”.
Guaido and his supporters made another attempt to depose Maduro on 30 April, gathering in Caracas on a highway in front of the La Carlota military base. Guaido called on the people of Venezuela and the army to take to the streets to complete the operation to overthrow Venezuela’s legitimate president.
In response, Maduro said that the commanders of all regions and zones of integral defence had reiterated their full loyalty to the people, constitution and homeland. According to Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the country’s armed forces continue to firmly support the “constitution and legitimate authorities”.
The political crisis in Venezuela recently entered its third month. The turmoil began in January, when US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela’s interim president in a bid to challenge Maduro’s re-election. Maduro, supported by China and Russia, among others, accused Guaido of plotting to overthrow him with Washington’s assistance.