For Now, Pentagon on Margins of American Response to Venezuela Crisis by Missy Ryan and Dan Lamothe – Washington Post
The Pentagon remained on the margins of the U.S. response to the crisis in Venezuela on Friday as military officials stressed they had not been asked to evacuate Americans amid an intensifying standoff between the Trump administration and President Nicolás Maduro.
The cautious response from the Defense Department, which said it had sent no troops, planes or ships to assist diplomats defying an expulsion order, highlighted the negligible military role in the administration’s mainly diplomatic and financial campaign to force out Maduro’s socialist government.
The reluctance of defense officials to discuss even the position of U.S. military assets underscored the Pentagon’s desire to avoid escalating a potentially explosive situation in a region where the United States has limited military weight.
Some U.S. diplomats flew out of the country on commercial flights Friday as the U.S. Embassy in Caracas curtailed its operations, two days after the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate leader. Others remained at the embassy despite a Saturday departure deadline from Maduro, who had announced he would cut ties with the United States…