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Trump administration divided over military option in Venezuela: media

May 2, 2019

WASHINGTON, May 2 ,, U.S. media reported Wednesday that the Trump administration has not reached a consensus on whether to engage in military intervention in Venezuela to support the opposition leader Juan Guaido.
According to a report of the Washington Post, as the Maduro government remains intact after an attempted yet failed coup on Tuesday, the Trump administration has sent “mixed messages about what role, if any, the U.S. military would play in Washington’s future efforts to resolve the Venezuelan crisis.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has “shown little willingness to plunge into Venezuela,” according to his current and former aides, the newspaper reported.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told financial news channel Fox Business on Wednesday that a peaceful solution was still desired but that “military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do.”
The Pentagon also appeared Wednesday to downplay any active preparations to directly intervene in Venezuela but acknowledged detailed contingency planning since turmoil in the country deepens.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a congressional testimony that “to date, most of our actions have been diplomatic and economic.”
Moreover, as National Security Advisor John Bolton has pushed for a more aggressive policy on Venezuela, he “has angered some within and outside the White House,” the Washington Post report said.
Before the coup attempt, Bolton’s staff clashed with Gen. Paul Selva, Dunford’s vice chairman, during a meeting to address the ongoing crisis, according to several officials with knowledge of the exchange, the report said.
The United States has been pursuing a policy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the Venezuelan government in support of Guaido. It recognized Guaido as the nation’s “interim president” on Jan. 23, days after Maduro was inaugurated for a second term.
In response to Washington’s support for Guaido, Maduro announced that he was severing “diplomatic and political” ties with the United States. Enditem

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