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24 Feb, 2019 01:41

‘All options open’? Venezuela’s Guaido set to meet Pence, ‘formally’ requests aid to topple Maduro

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim leader has ‘formally’ requested that his international partners consider ‘all options’ necessary to depose Maduro, as he now heads to the Lima Group summit to meet US Vice President Mike Pence.

“The events of today oblige me to take a decision – to propose formally to the international community that we should keep open all options for the liberation of our homeland, which is fighting and will continue to fight,” Juan Guaido tweeted Saturday evening.

Following the chaotic and failed attempt by the opposition to forcefully bring convoys of USAID supplies into Venezuela, US-backed “interim president” Guaido vowed to attend the Lima Group summit in Bogota, apparently to discuss a course of further action with the countries that have supported his claim to power.

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The declaration came right after Pence’s aide confirmed a scheduled face-to-face meeting of the Vice President and the US-supported politician at the upcoming Lima Group summit in the Colombian capital on Monday. While threatening to introduce further financial sanctions against the Venezuelan government and military, the US repeatedly made clear that “all options,” including a military one, remain on the table.

Addressing his supporters from Colombia, the 35-year-old opposition politician used the opportunity to once again urge Venezuelan officers to defect, offering them “amnesty” – somewhat echoing veiled threats by top US officials, who’d said Venezuela’s military has no other choice but to “embrace democracy.”

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Despite US-led pressure for the Maduro government to step aside, the army has remained loyal to the elected government and has blocked convoys of USAID supplies –intended for the opposition– from entering Venezuela on Saturday.

The so-called Lima Group – formed in 2017 to oppose Maduro's government – has rejected Maduro’s election victory and its members have been working alongside the US and the Venezuelan opposition to topple the incumbent Maduro.

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