US-based Organization of American States (OAS) has called for a “military intervention” to overthrow Venezuela’s government days after reports of a US-led coup plot against President Nicolas Maduro.
“With regards to a military intervention aimed at overthrowing the regime of Nicolas Maduro, I think we should not exclude any option,” said OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro in a Friday press briefing in the Colombia’s border city of Cucuta.
Almagro was concluding a three-day tour of the Latin American country to meet with Venezuelans migrants and opposition elements fleeing their oil-rich country amid an economy crisis.
“Suffering of the people, in the induced exodus that it is driving, puts diplomatic actions in first place, but we should not rule out any action,” added Almagro.
The remarks followed a New York Times report last Saturday that the Trump administration officials had secretly met with Venezuela’s opposition-tied military officers to discuss plots to overthrow Maduro, but eventually decided against the move.
According to the report, US officials had said the time was ripe to try to topple the government in Caracas as the economic crisis was deepening in Venezuela, which has been hit by crippling US sanctions and other destabilizing measures.
The New York Times further pointed out that the reported meetings between US officials and the Venezuelan coup plotters could raise alarms in the region considering Washington’s previous interventions across Latin America, including a controversial coup in Chile in 1973, the failed Bay of Pigs invasion to topple Cuba’s Fidel Castro in 1961 and 2009 Honduran coup against President Manuel Zelaya.
In August 2017, American media also reported that US President Donald Trump had asked his top advisors about the potential for a US invasion of Venezuela. Around the same time, he said publicly that he would not rule out a “military option” to end the turmoil there.
OSA chief Luis Almagro also urged the international community to “not permit a dictatorship in Venezuela” because he claimed it would provoke regional instability in humanitarian and security terms, alongside the effects on Venezuelans.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez has declared that her government complained to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that “individual officials” have been portraying “a normal migratory flow as a humanitarian crisis to justify an intervention.”
Speaker of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello also announced earlier this week that Washington was behind the recent failed drone assassination of Maduro.
“The presidential assassination that was stopped was led by the United States. Is there anyone who has any doubt?” Cabello said on Monday.
The US “acknowledges having met at least three times with military coup leaders to carry out a coup” added Cabello, linking the failed assassination attempt to the New York Times report of Washington’s efforts to plan a coup against Caracas.
About 2.3 million Venezuelans have left the country since the economic crisis erupted in 2015 — more than 500,000 only this year — mostly for Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
President Maduro has blamed a US-led economic war for the crisis, saying Washington is plotting to topple his socialist government.