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Thread: The US is in direct contact with Venezuela's military and urging defections

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    The US is in direct contact with Venezuela's military and urging defections

    Venezuela's National Assembly president Juan Guaido gestures before a crowd of opposition supporters during an open meeting in Caraballeda, Vargas State, Venezuela, on January 13, 2019.

    February 08, 2019

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is holding direct communications with members of Venezuela's military urging them to abandon President Nicolas Maduro and is also preparing new sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on him, a senior White House official said.

    The Trump administration expects further military defections from Maduro's side, the official told Reuters in an interview, despite only a few senior officers having done so since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president last month, earning the recognition of the United States and dozens of other countries.

    "We believe these to be those first couple pebbles before we start really seeing bigger rocks rolling down the hill," the official said this week, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We're still having conversations with members of the former Maduro regime, with military members, although those conversations are very, very limited."

    The official declined to provide details on the discussions or the level at which they are being held, and it was unclear whether such contacts could create cracks in the Venezuelan socialist leader's support from the military, which is pivotal to his grip on power.

    With the Venezuelan military still apparently loyal to Maduro, a source in Washington close to the opposition expressed doubts whether the Trump administration has laid enough groundwork to spur a wider mutiny in the ranks where many officers are suspected of benefiting from corruption and drug trafficking.

    Members of the South American country's security forces fear they or their families could be targeted by Maduro if they defect, so the U.S. would need to offer them something that could outweigh those concerns, said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas think tank in Washington.

    "It depends on what they're offering," Farnsworth said. "Are there incentives built into these contacts that will at least cause people to question their loyalty to the regime?"

    Guaido says the May 2018 vote in which Maduro won a second term as president was a sham and on Jan. 23 invoked a constitutional provision to declare himself president, promising free and fair elections.

    Venezuelan assets
    The U.S. government also sees European allies as likely to do more to prevent Maduro from transferring or hiding Venezuela government assets held outside the country, the U.S. official said.

    Major European countries have joined the United States in backing Guaido but they have stopped short of the sweeping oil sanctions and financial measures that Washington has imposed.

    At the same time, the Trump administration is readying further possible sanctions on Venezuela, the official said.

    Previous rounds have targeted dozens of Venezuelan military and government officials, including Maduro himself, and last month finally hit the OPEC member's vital oil sector. But the administration has stopped short of imposing so-called "secondary" sanctions, which would punish non-U.S. companies for doing business with the Venezuela government or the state oil monopoly PDVSA.

    The U.S. official said that Washington had every tool available to apply pressure on Maduro and his associates "to accept a legitimate democratic transition."

    The U.S. government is also weighing possible sanctions on Cuban military and intelligence officials whom it says are helping Maduro remain in power, a second U.S. official and person familiar with the deliberations have told Reuters.

    Maduro's government has accused Guaido, who has galvanized Venezuela's opposition, of attempting to stage a U.S.-directed coup.

    General Francisco Yanez of the air force's high command became the first active Venezuelan general to recognize Guaido, but he is one of about 2,000 generals. Venezuela's chief military attache to the United States also said he was defecting late last month.

    Guaido has actively courted members of the military with promises of amnesty and preferential legal treatment if they disavow Maduro and disobey his orders, and Washington this week raised the prospect of dropping sanctions on senior Venezuelan officers if they recognize Guaido...more:

    JANUARY 23, 2019

    National Assembly President Juan Guaido swears himself in as President of Venezuela

    National Assembly President Juan Guaido swore himself in as President of Venezuela today before a massive crowd of supporters in Caracas.

    “Raise your right hand, today, January 23rd 2019, in my condition as President of the National Assembly, invoking the articles of the Constitution – before Almighty God,” Guaido said, as the mass of supporters raised their hands. “I swear to formally assume the power of the National Executive Office as the President of Venezuela.

    Guaido had declared the swear-in ceremony for Nicolas Maduro’s second term as president of Venezuela to be unconstitutional and called for new elections...

    Maybe Nancy Pelosi can "Swear Herself In" after the next Trump fiasco. That would be fun, no?

    A CTRL-F search of Rand Pauls' Twitter Page at the time of this posting returns no matches for "Venezuela"

    End the costly wars- #Tulsi2020
    Rand Paul lied about Crimea & Iran
    Rand- "US Must Take Strong Action Against Putin’s Aggression"
    “I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot, I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative”-Rand Paul
    “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.” PNAC report September 2000

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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    You only show up to attack Trump when he is wrong
    DACA S**thole Dreamers - Make America Great Again?

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Peace Piper View Post
    We need someone who thinks they can hypnotize gay people into being straight to be in control of the federal government nothing possibly could go wrong there. I thought she was part of the CFR... Are you serious?

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by nikcers View Post
    We need someone who thinks they can hypnotize gay people into being straight to be in control of the federal government nothing possibly could go wrong there. I thought she was part of the CFR... Are you serious?
    Not only is she CFR but she votes for the wars she speaks against.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  6. #5
    Tulsi should leave the CFR and expose it for the criminal organization it is. Maybe then I'll take her more seriously.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

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