Opposition Leader Juan Guaido announced this weekend that he ordered his representative in Washington, DC to meet with officials from the United States’ Southern Command to discuss working together, and the future of Venezuela.
Representative Carlos Vecchio then said on Twitter that he requested a meeting with a technical delegation to advance in strategic and operational planning with the goal of restoring democracy in Venezuela.
The announcement from Guaido is notable, because it comes days after the head of the Southern Command, U.S. Navy Admiral Craig Faller, said that he stands ready to assist Guaido, and his allies in Venezuela.
The language that is being used is interesting—U.S. officials have repeatedly said that “all options are on the table” in Venezuela, and this weekend, Guaido said that “all options are on the table” in order to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro.
National Security Adviser John Bolton and Sectary of State Mike Pompeo have claimed that the only reason Maduro is still in power is because he is being propped up by Cuba’s military.
Then Guaido claimed that he has the support of at least 80 percent of Venezuela’s military, and he insisted that the only reason that support hasn’t materialized is because those forces are being intimidated by the Maduro government and by Cuba.
One Venezuelan general who was seen in a video calling for the military to rise up against Maduro, also claimed that the government in Venezuela is being controlled by Cuba.
The claims have been denied by both Maduro and Cuba’s government, but it does seem like that the claims that are being made by U.S. officials then go on to be repeated by Guaido and his allies.
We now know that Guaido’s representatives are planning a meeting with the U.S. Southern Command, and they will likely be discussing a range of options. Those options could include full military force, and they could also include things such as surveillance, in which the U.S. military spies the Maduro government and passes on information any information they collect to Guaido and his allies.
Even though we have seen U.S. officials like Pompeo and Bolton threaten military action, it’s important to remember that any legal action from the U.S. would need approval from Congress, and they have yet to pass any legislation declaring war against the Maduro government.