Venezuelan Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez has accused the United States, Brazil and Colombia of preparing a military invasion of the Bolivarian Republic. A corresponding statement was made on Monday:
"The international community and its institutions for protecting legitimacy around the world should be aware that a criminal plan has been conceived to stage a military attack on Venezuela," Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Monday.
If they choose to proceed with their plans, these countries "will commit crimes against humanity and will have to bear responsibility on the international level," she noted.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Defence is considering new military options against Venezuela to deter alleged Russian, Cuban and Chinese influence in the Latin American country, CNN cited an unnamed Pentagon official as saying.
This comes after National Security Adviser John Bolton instructed acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan last week to formulate ideas on how to deal with the Venezuela crisis. The options could include US naval drills and more military interaction with neighbouring countries to prevent Moscow, Havana and Beijing from obtaining “unchallenged access to the region”, according to the official.
On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry slammed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent allegations related to Moscow’s “intervention in Venezuela” as unacceptable. In an interview with Mega TV on 12 April Mr Pompeo said that Russia "intervened" and "went against the leadership of the country of Venezuela". He further claimed that Russia is "there as a hostile power", and that Juan Guaido, who illegally proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president, is "the duly elected leader".
Mr Pompeo also referred to President Nicolas Maduro as "the former leader of Venezuela".
On 23 January Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself the country's acting president, with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro swiftly branding the move a coup attempt.
The United States was among the first to recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as president, and rushed to impose a number of economic restrictions on the Venezuelan economy to pressure Nicolas Maduro and his supporters.
Russia, in addition to numerous other world powers, expressed support for Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela's only legitimate president.