Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday suggested that a plan for the permanent mobilisation of the Armed Forces to guard against a possible foreign intervention should be adopted.
“It is a plan to maintain the mobilisation of the Bolivarian Armed Forces for protecting our country, which is one of the constitutional obligations … Mobilisation and training. Training and deployment. There must be tanks, missiles of the republic and the soldiers of the republic; [ways] to combine air defenses, naval forces, deployment of the military in order to carry out exercises”, Maduro said, summarising the results of recent drills, as broadcast by his Periscope channel.
Maduro recalled that Colombia and the United States allegedly planned a military intervention in Venezuela, noting that his plan “guarantees the security and peace along the country’s border”.
Earlier in the day Venezuelan opposition leader, self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido called for pro-Maduro military personnel to choose “the side of the Constitution”, giving the “gentlemen from the Armed Forces” seven days, i.e. until 23 February, when “humanitarian aid”, coordinated by Guaido, is expected to reach Venezuela.
On Friday State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino revealed that officials from the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID) will be aboard a military aircraft that the United States is sending to the Venezuelan border on Saturday to deliver aid to Venezuela.
Christoph Harnisch, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Columbia, said his organisation will not assist in delivering the goods to Venezuela because the ICRC does not consider US assistance to be humanitarian aid.
In July 2018 the Associated Press news agency reported, citing an unnamed representative of the US administration, that in August 2017, Trump, during a meeting in the Oval Office, asked his aides about the possibility of a military intervention in the country.
In particular, Trump reportedly pointed to what he considered past cases of “successful gunboat diplomacy” in the region, such as the invasions of Panama and Grenada in the 1980s, AP reported, citing a US official.
After media reports alleging a possible US military intervention emerged, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on the country’s servicemen to be prepared to repulse US aggression.
During a press briefing on 28 January about new sanctions against Caracas, Bolton was photographed holding a yellow notepad that read: “5,000 troops to Colombia”, prompting widespread speculation that senior US security officials are discussing plans to deploy military forces to Venezuela’s neighbour to assist a US-plotted military invasion.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly stressed that it considers any military options with regard to Venezuela unacceptable and warned that they would only further escalate the situation in the country.
On 23 January, Juan Guaido, speaker for the opposition-led National Assembly, proclaimed himself the nation’s interim president. The opposition figure was quickly supported by the United States and a number of other countries.
Russia, China, Mexico, Iran, Turkey and several other states have backed Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate president. Maduro has repeatedly blamed Washington for attempting a coup in Venezuela.Why Conservative MPs now believe Theresa May’s Brexit deal will pass