There are mounting signs of military planning for Venezuela
Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told all US diplomats to leave Venezuela because their presence had become “a constraint on U.S. policy.” Analysts understood this statement as the latest sign that the US is planning a military campaign aimed at overthrowing President Maduro. US President Donald Trump has been considering such an operation since at least 2017.
Trump’s recent recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela was already considered by some as a coup attempt of sorts, but various experts believe Trump may want to use military force in order to take down Maduro directly. However, according to former CIA analyst Fulton T. Armstrong, the the Trump administration is “not trying to provoke a war,” but instead attempts “to provoke the Venezuelan military to rise up and overthrow Maduro.”
Later this week, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams will meet Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Rome to discuss the situation in Venezuela.