The people of Venezuela are in a bad way, folks.
Years of socialist rule by Nicolas Maduro has left them beaten, bloodied, and famished. Just months ago, as the economy began to crumble, a cheeseburger would cost you the equivalent of $300 USD. Then, just weeks later, Venezuelans were resorting to killing, cooking, and eating the family pets.
Then came an obviously-rigged election, several uprisings, and the now infamous footage of an armored military vehicle plowing over civilian protesters on the street.
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With this latest uprising having failed, it looks as though the United States could find themselves involved in the South American nation.
The White House is calling for relevant departments to produce more options for the president to consider on Venezuela. The National Security Council is pushing the Defense Department for military ideas and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seeking ways to entice Russia to pull away from Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro.
Current and former officials recognize there are not many more options other than military action or some type of internal revolt.
We have our top minds at the helm.
Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Navy Adm. Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command, met Friday morning and discussed different options to increase pressure on the Maduro government, including military participation.
“We had Secretary Pompeo over, Ambassador Bolton, a number of different folks just so we all stay stitched together in real time,” Shanahan told reporters Friday. “These discussions really are more so that just as things happen, it’s convenient that we’re all here in the same time zone, and almost the same zip code, so we can just converge, update everybody on that, we’ll probably get together in a few more days.”
Standing in front of armed military officers, Juan Guaidó, whom the United States considers the legitimate president of Venezuela, on Tuesday called for Venezuelans to join him for the “final phase” of an effort to take control of the Miraflores presidential palace. But Guaidó was unable to rally enough support from the Venezuelan military and after days of violence in street protests, Maduro has held control of the military and government offices.
President Trump noted that, in a phone call with Vladimir Putin on Friday, the Russian President seemed to have no interest in Venezuela – despite reports that the Kremlin had lardy sent troops to the area.
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