President Donald Trump might be setting the stage for a military intervention in Venezuela with his decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as “interim president,” Defense One reports.
Trump said in 2017 that he hadn’t decided against “the military option” for Venezuela, in light of the country’s economic crisis. A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday that the U.S. could go much further in its economic and diplomatic responses if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “chooses the route of violence.”
“The real implication is what it would mean all of a sudden that the Maduro government is a non-state actor from the U.S. perspective,” said University of Texas Law School national security professor Steve Vladeck. “The government we are purporting to recognize might consent to U.S. actions on Venezuelan soil that are actually quite hostile to the Maduro regime.”
“Militarizing the crisis in Venezuela would require going basically from 0-100,” Dan Trombly, Institute for Defense Analyses research associate, tweeted on Wednesday. “The disorganized and largely non-violent VZ opposition would be unable to match even Libya’s incoherent militia patchwork anytime soon and would very likely require foreign ground support.
“Precisely because Venezuela is *not* yet in a civil war, there is very little the US could even fantasize about doing to strike VZ or militarily help along this opposition without sliding into a full-blown Iraq-like effort to collapse existing Venezuelan state institutions,” Trombly added in a second tweet.
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