Caracas trains troops to protect the “sacred homeland” and to ensure that the US pays an “excessively high price” for invasion, Nicolas Maduro told RT. Yet, he believes, diplomacy should prevail over threats in the 21st century.
The Venezuelan president said his government is preparing for a potential military intervention from the outside, but insists dialogue is the way to solve the crisis. “I don’t believe in war, violence or military threats,” he told RT in an exclusive interview. “Whatever they want, there will be peace in Venezuela.”
The comment came days after Washington floated the idea of using a “military option” against Venezuela. Asked what he could do about it, Maduro replied:
We have to make sure that the price of a US military intervention would be excessively high, in terms of expenditures and human casualties.
Reiterating that “there will be no war or military intervention in Venezuela,” Maduro stated that “it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t defend our sacred homeland.”
“That said, the army, air force, and national guard will be pushed to their limits in a series of drills. Additionally, as many as 2 million volunteers will be trained “to thwart illegitimate threats.”
On Monday, Maduro struck the same tone, telling Spanish journalist Jordi Evole: “If the North American empire attacks us, we will have to defend ourselves … We have our secrets too – and we have our sling. David’s sling is in our hands.”
Speaking to RT, he said there is still hope that this scenario can be avoided.
“I believe in dialogue, problems are solved through mutual understanding.”
[The] 21st century is a bad time for cannon fire and military intimidation… it should be a century of dialogue, civilization, politics and respect [for] diversity.
Speculation about the US sending troops to Venezuela soared after US National Security Advisor John Bolton was caught holding a yellow legal notebook during a press briefing that said “5,000 troops to Colombia.”
The White House would not expand on this, only saying it is considering “all options on the table.” Bogota said it has no clue what it meant and that it would act only “politically and diplomatically” with its neighbor.
Maduro also noted that the US made “a political and diplomatic mistake” in piling pressure on Venezuela.
“International relations in [the] 21st century can’t be built upon ultimatums when one country tells another: ‘I give you seven days so that you do this or that in my interests. If you don’t do that, I’ll attack you or something else,’” he stated.