US President Donald Trump has told Fox Business that the next few days may see what he described as lots of developments pertaining to the current situation in Venezuela.
“It’s an incredible mess […]. The place is so bad and so dangerous […] so something is going to have to be done. A lot of things will be going on over the next week and sooner than that. We will see what happens,” Trump said.
He also pledged to continue to support Venezuela’s opposition leader and self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido, saying that “we are doing everything we can do, short of, you know, the ultimate” and that “there are people who would like to have us do the ultimate”.
When asked to elaborate, Trump noted that “some of them [options] I don’t even like to mention to you because they are pretty tough”.
The interview comes as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro suggested earlier on Thursday that if the conflict in the South American country had further escalated and turned violent, the US would use this massacre to launch a military intervention in Venezuela.
“They [the opposition] want to lead us to a civil war. I am asking — what would happen if we sent the tanks, armoured vehicles and specials forces that we have? There would be a slaughter among Venezuelans and Washington would celebrate and order beginning of a military intervention in order to occupy the land of Bolivar,” Maduro told a Labour Day demonstration in Caracas.
His remarks followed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement that while Washington would prefer to see a peaceful “transition” in Venezuela, it would not take the military option off the table.
The political standoff in Venezuela escalated on Tuesday, when the country’s opposition gathered in the capital Caracas, calling on the military to join them for the "final phase" of their "Operation Freedom" campaign to oust the Maduro government.
At least 69 people were reportedly injured ins subsequent clashes between the opposition and security forces, prompting Maduro to announce he had appointed prosecutors to investigate the attempted coup in the country.
Maduro, in turn, has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido as a US puppet and take over Venezuela’s natural resources.
Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries signalled their support for Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.