Small Wars Journal

Maduro’s Opposition Urges Military Force in Venezuela

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 12:20am

Maduro’s Opposition Urges Military Force in Venezuela by José de Córdoba and Ryan Dube – Wall Street Journal

Venezuela’s opposition called for the first time on the international community to consider the use of military force against President Nicolás Maduro, escalating a standoff after a weekend showdown over humanitarian aid ended in violence.


Proposals for increased pressure on the authoritarian leader will be made during a meeting on Monday in the Colombian capital Bogotá. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is recognized as Venezuela’s rightful president by more than 50 countries, including the U.S., will participate along with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and regional diplomats.


“We will present firm positions which are an escalation of diplomatic measures, and political measures including the use of force for blocking the humanitarian aid and generating an unprecedented violence,” said Julio Borges, a top opposition leader.


In Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Mr. Maduro as a “sick tyrant” and repeated that “every option is on the table,” when asked about the possible use of military force.


Jorge Rodriguez, Mr. Maduro’s communications minister, blamed violence over the weekend on the opposition and foreign adversaries in Colombia. He said the National Guard was ensuring public order and responding to aggression by government opponents…

Read on.


U.S.-backed Venezuelan Opposition Faces Limited Options After Unsuccessful Aid Effort by Patrick J. McDonnell, Chris Kraul and Mery Mogollon – Los Angeles Times

… While Colombian authorities asserted the defection of some 100 Venezuelan security personnel here, the Venezuelan military and police did not turn sides en masse and open a path for the aid — as Juan Guaido, the opposition leader and self-declared interim president, had predicted.

“The coup has failed,” an exultant Maduro declared. “Victory is ours!” Maduro added, dancing with his wife, Cilia Flores, in a celebratory rally in the Miraflores presidential complex in Caracas on Saturday.


Meanwhile, U.S. officials and the Venezuelan opposition declared that Maduro’s violent moves to block the aid would further tarnish his image and harden the resolve of those seeking to oust him.


In the aftermath of the aid initiative, Guaido and his U.S. patrons were quick to call the episode a victory that would ultimately hasten the fall of Maduro.


“Today we saw a man who isn’t pained to send [authorities] to burn food needed by the hungry,” Guaido said on Saturday evening here in Cucuta.


Venezuelan authorities blamed pro-opposition troublemakers for burning the aid trucks and for attacking Venezuelan security units on the bridges…

Read on.