The US has declared its support for Juan Guaidó as he called for the Venezuelan military to join an uprising against the government of Nicolás Maduro.
The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, tweeted a message in support of what he called “the start of Operación Libertad”.
Today interim President Juan Guaido announced start of Operación Libertad. The U.S. Government fully supports the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy. Democracy cannot be defeated. #EstamosUnidosVE
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) April 30, 2019
The vice-president, Mike Pence, also went on to Twitter to encourage the protesters:
To @jguaido, the National Assembly and all the freedom-loving people of Venezuela who are taking to the streets today in #operacionlibertad—Estamos con ustedes! We are with you! America will stand with you until freedom & democracy are restored. Vayan con dios! #FreeVenezuela
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 30, 2019
The national security adviser, John Bolton, also tweeted a direct message to Maduro’s defence minister, Vladimir Padrino, saying the country’s armed forces “must protect the constitution and the Venezuelan people”.
Venezuelans have made clear that the current path toward democracy is irreversible. Venezuela’s military has a choice: embrace democracy, protect civilians and members of the democratically-elected National Assembly, or face more man-made suffering and isolation.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) April 30, 2019
The White House said that President Trump is being kept informed about events in Venezuela as they unfolded.
It is unclear whether the administration was prepared to go beyond verbal support and how it would act if the uprising was defeated by Maduro’s forces.
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