The US and Brazilian vice presidents met in Washington, DC, to discuss the pressure options that could be exerted on Venezuela in order to facilitate Maduro's exit from office, Reuters reported Monday.
US Vice President Mike Pence reportedly hosted his Brazilian counterpart Hamilton Mourao in the White House in an attempt to use the former general's experience and influence to persuade Venezuela's military leadership to abandon their loyalty to Maduro, an unnamed White House official told Reuters.
Mourao, who was a Brazilian defenсe attache in Caracas during his service in the military, "has a very unique perspective" from which to communicate with Venezuela's top ranking officers, the official said.
"He speaks with a unique credibility from within the region as a senior political leader with a military background. That voice is very important, and he is using that voice to advance the cause," the source said.
The US seeks to win the support of other countries — like Brazil — to isolate Venezuela, the official said.
The United States has recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the "interim president" of Venezuela and provided him with support in his effort to oust Maduro. Despite US-imposed sanctions and Guaido's best efforts toward sparking a coup, Maduro remains in power and enjoys the support of the country's armed forces.
The Washington-imposed sanctions aim to curb Venezuela's oil exports, which generate the vast majority of the nation's wealth. Venezuela is struggling with a tough social and economic crisis due to numerous infrastructure failures, which Caracas blames on sabotage by the opposition and agents of Washington.