Military intervention in Venezuela ‘an option: US President

Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump said military intervention in Venezuela was “an option” as Western nations boost pressure on socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down, while the troubled OPEC nation’s ally Russia warned against “destructive meddling.” The United States, Canada and several Latin American countries have disavowed Maduro over his disputed re-election last year and recognized self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful leader.

Maduro, who has overseen an economic collapse and the exodus of millions of Venezuelans, still maintains the powerful backing of Russia, China and Turkey, and the critical support of the military. “I’ve turned it down because we’re very far along in the process,” he said in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview. “So, I think the process is playing out.” The Trump administration last week issued crippling sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA, a key source of revenue.

Tens of thousands of people thronged the streets of various Venezuelan cities on Saturday to protest Maduro’s government. Russia, a major creditor to Venezuela in recent years and an ideological ally to Maduro, quickly urged restraint. “The international community’s goal should be to help (Venezuela), without destructive meddling from beyond its borders,” Alexander Shchetinin, head of the Latin America department at Russia’s Foreign Ministry, told Interfax.