Venezuelan envoy to UN says US preparing for ‘military invasion’ of Venezuela

Press TV – Venezuela’s envoy to the United Nations says the United States is preparing for a “military invasion” of his country, amid Washington’s recent move to impose sanctions on the state-owned oil firm PDVSA in its harshest financial challenge yet to President Nicolas Maduro.

Jorge Valero, Venezuela’s permanent ambassador to the UN, made the comment at a the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in New York on Tuesday, questioning whether US President Donald Trump’s administration had the moral authority to “impose a diktat” on Caracas.

Valero’s remarks were in direct response to the US deputy ambassador to the UN, Cynthia Plath, who said minutes earlier that Washington was “committed to holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela’s tragic decline.”

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday revealed in an interview with the HBO that Trump had asked about his opinion about “using military force” in Venezuela against Maduro.

The South Carolina Senator added that he had urged Trump to be cautious since the military intervention in the South American country “could be problematic.”

There have been growing tensions in the wake of a move by Washington to lead the charge to recognize opposition figure Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president over the incumbent Maduro and calling on other countries to follow suit.

Thirty five-year-old Guaido, an unknown figure until recently, proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela on January 23. Minutes after the bizarre move, Trump recognized him as the leader of the country.

Britain, Germany, France, and Spain have already given an eight-day ultimatum to Caracas that they would also recognize Guaido as president if Maduro failed to call a new election within the given period. On Saturday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza lambasted that ultimatum as “childlike,” the same day US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the world to support Guaido and reject “Maduro and his mayhem.”

Other countries, including Russia, Turkey, China, and Iran, have expressed support for the elected government in Venezuela and condemned outside interference in the country.