Venezuelan opposition lawmaker and self-styled 'interim president' Juan Guaido has said that "all options" remain on the table to force the Maduro government to resign,
"We have tried everything in Venezuela. Literally. And always within the bounds of non-violence: through peaceful protests, by exercising our rights, through insistence. But there is also a sense of frustration, Guaido said, speaking to the El Pais newspaper in an interview published Thursday.
"How does a Venezuelan defend himself against an armed group? Or against paramilitary groups that are constantly harassing him? Or from a regime that sequesters the armed forces and denies them food and medicine? There is a frank dilemma here regarding citizen protection," the opposition leader added.
"So, for us, the responsible thing to do is discuss all options," Guaido said.
The opposition figure's remarks echoed those made by US President Donald Trump who indicated and has since repeated sentiments that "all options" remained on the table in resolving the Venezuelan crisis, which Caracas took to mean the possible use of military force to overthrow the Maduro government.
Citing "a lot of persecution" in the country's armed forces, Guaido stressed that the opposition "expects more" of the military to join him and "stand on the side of the Constitution."
Guaido, leader of Venezuela's semi-defunct National Assembly, declared himself interim president in late January, and was immediately recognised by the US, Canada, and many of Washington's Latin American and European allies. The Venezuelan government described the opposition's move as an attempted coup d'état. Russia, China, Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Syria and about a dozen other countries rejected Guaido's takeover bid, and urged other powers not to meddle in Venezuela's internal affairs.