US might pull regional strings to topple Maduro through military invasion – Max Blumenthal

The US might use its Latin American allies as proxies to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in support of Washington's recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido, journalist Max Blumenthal has warned.

“What should be concerning is the prospect of a military invasion, possibly from Colombia – or covert action from Colombia [or] Brazil – with the US standing behind, kind of pulling the strings,” the award-winning American author and investigative journalist told RT, after US President Donald Trump and a number of Latin American government recognized Guaido's claims to power.

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In case a civil war breaks out in the Bolivarian Republic, the military, which according to Defense Minister maintains loyalty to the Maduro government, will defend the sovereignty of the country, despite Washington's calls for officers to defect, Blumenthal said.

“I see no indication that the military will heed the calls of [US Vice President] Mike Pence,” he noted. “The military is absolutely loyal to the government of Venezuela.”

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“There is also a peoples' militia that is supportive of the government, that has not been activated, and that I think would be the scenario that would provoke mass bloodshed,” Blumenthal added.

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In case of further escalation, the opposition will likely resort to violence to provoke international condemnation of the Maduro government. “The opposition mostly uses homemade arms. It does have some rifles, but they have not been armed the way the opposition in Syria was,” the journalist said, noting that Guaido’s followers are not ready to take on the government on their own.

For now, Blumenthal explained, Trump's recognition of Guaido fulfilled the opposition's demands, but their claim to power has not yet succeeded “beyond a symbolic level.”

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