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Guaido Had 'Clandestine Meetings' With Venezuela's Military, Security - Reports

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido in an opinion article published by The New York Times on Wednesday said that the country's opposition has held secret talks with members of Venezuela’s security forces and offered them amnesty in exchange for abandoning President Nicolas Maduro.

"The transition will require support from key military contingents. We have had clandestine meetings with members of the armed forces and the security forces. We have offered amnesty to all those who are found not guilty of crimes against humanity", Guaido said. "The military’s withdrawal of support from Mr. Maduro is crucial to enabling a change in government, and the majority of those in service agree that the country’s recent travails are untenable".

Last week, Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela with US encouragement. He was instantly recognized by Washington and several US allies. Russia, China, among other countries, continue to recognize Maduro as the country’s legitimate elected president. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Washington of launching a coup in the country.

READ MORE: US Should Not Engage Militarily in Venezuela — Ex-SOUTHCOM Commander Stavridis

However, Venezuela’s opposition does not support the military option to solve the country’spolitical crisis, self-declared interim president Juan Guaido’s representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Gustavo Tarre, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

A supporter of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido holds a flag while taking part in a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela January 30, 2019. - Sputnik International
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"No", Tarre said on Wednesday when asked whether he would support a US military option. "The problem is going to be solved by Venezuelans".

The opposition has been also in contact with Venezuelan diplomats in the United States who no longer recognize Nicolas Maduro as the country’s head of state, Gustavo Tarre told Sputnik.

"Yes", Tarre said on Wednesday when asked if they remain in contact with US-based Venezuelan officials who have recognized Guaido. Tarre said Guaido's appointed Envoy to the United States Carlos Vecchio has been in contact with them.

READ MORE: Venezuela Must Free Itself from 'Dollar Blackmail' — Maduro

Last week, the military attache at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, Col. Jose Luis Silva, told a Spanish-language news outlet that he recognized Guaido as interim president. The Venezuelan Defense Ministry, the following day, accused Silva of treason.

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US National Security Bolton in a Twitter post on Monday said the United States would take action if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government harmed Guaido or US diplomatic staff. During a press briefing, Bolton also said that "all options are on the table", with respect to addressing the crisis.

The Colombian Defense Ministry, however, told Sputnik that the country's government did not plan to provide the United States with military bases to invade Venezuela.

The United States also announced this week that it has seized billions in Venezuelan oil assets. On Monday, US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said sanctions relief was possible if Maduro stepped down.

READ MORE: Lima Group Wants No Military Intervention in Venezuela — Peruvian Minister

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