Washington: The United States is “seriously” considering a military option in Venezuela “as events unfold”, a US official said on Friday (local time).
Speaking to Sputnik, the official said: “Frankly, and also a military option, which is, President Trump has said, on the table, and remains on the table. It’s a very serious option, obviously …none would like to see, but clearly, one that is seriously considered as events unfold.”
This comes amidst the United States imposing fresh sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, by designating 34 of its vessels. Companies and vessels related to Venezuela, accused of shipping oil to Cuba, were also listed on Friday.
The Latin American nation is currently in the throes of a political crisis, which is worsened by hyperinflation, blackouts, and an acute shortage of water and medicines.
In January, National Assembly President Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the President of Venezuela, as protests calling for elected President Nicolas Maduro’s ouster shook Caracas. The United States immediately supported Guaido, asking other nations to back the self-proclaimed President.
Several countries called for Maduro to step down or hold fresh elections, as they largely view the elections which brought Maduro to power as rigged. Maduro has refused to step down from his post or accept humanitarian aid from the United States. The Venezuelan military continues to back him, even though countries like US, UK, France, Japan, amongst others, recognize Guaido as the interim President.
However, China, Russia, and other countries have slammed international interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs, throwing their weight behind Maduro.