Deutsche Welle or DW, Germany’s public international broadcaster, reports that a Russian security official said on Tuesday he believed Washington was planning to intervene militarily in Venezuela.
Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, said Moscow had agreed to a US proposal to hold talks in Venezuela — a Russian ally — but that the US had postponed them on “false pretenses.”
“The United States is preparing a military invasion of an independent state,” Patrushev said in an interview with Russian weekly newspaper Argumenty i Fakty. “The transfer of American special operations forces to Puerto Rico, the landing of US forces in Colombia and other facts indicate the Pentagon is reinforcing its troops in the region in order to use them in an operation to remove … Maduro from power.”
The brutal refusal by Venezuelan military forces loyal to the country’s besieged President Nicolas Maduro to allow foreign aid into the country over the weekend has increased the chance of Washington getting involved militarily in the conflict between Maduro and Juan Guaido, according to the Russian official.
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In another report, Deutsche Welle says that while the likelihood has increased — both experts independently put the odds now at between 30% and 40% who currently still consider a US intervention as unlikely, because, they argue, at the moment there simply is no support for such a move in Europe and the rest of Latin America.
“You don’t even have Bolsonaro in Brazil really saying that,” said Gregory Weeks, a Latin American scholar and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, referring to Brazil’s firebrand president and Donald Trump ally Jair Bolsonaro who has called for the ouster Maduro.
But, Weeks added, the current political climate that makes an intervention unlikely could change fairly quickly.
“At the moment we don’t have a particular spark,” said Weeks. “But we have seen that in the past. And that’s something that I think would definitely increase the chance and change the calculation of armed intervention.”
Such a “spark” that could change the political calculus could be large scale deadly violence against the opposition, the imprisonment or harming of opposition leader Guaido and an attack against US diplomatic personnel in Venezuela.