CBS NEWSMay 7, 2019, 8:17 AM
One week after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s calls for mass protests failed to incite a military uprising and force Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro out of office, Guaidó has suggested to CBS News that he is open to a U.S. military intervention in his country.
“We are open to options that offer a low social cost and that will grant us the ability and the stability to hold a truly free election,” Guaidó told CBS News’ Adriana Diaz in Caracas. “We want the best exit out of this conflict, and if there are options we have to consider and alternatives, then we will.”
But it seems the United States isn’t Guaidó’s only option. A member of Guaido’s team told Diaz that they are in touch with Russian officials, which Guaido confirmed. He said those talks were happening in an unofficial capacity, with various officials from high to low levels in the Moscow government.
The U.S. and Russia accuse each other of interfering in the Venezuelan crisis. On Monday, speaking from Moscow, Venezuela’s foreign minister said his country may expand the amount of Russian specialists there.
President Trump’s top aides say all options — including military action — remain on the table.
Guaidó told Diaz he only has one goal: “I want a free election now, no dictatorship, for kids in Venezuela not to starve to death.”
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to announce new incentives on Tuesday to try and convince Venezuelan military commanders to abandon Maduro.
Maduro has called Guaidó a puppet of the American government. Asked if being open to U.S. support, including possible military support, affirms Maduro’s claims, Guaidó said: “We are supported by 60 countries and Maduro is weak, alone, isolated, in his bunker.”
But even with Venezuela’s crippling economic crisis, and inflation at more than one million percent, most armed forces have remained loyal to Maduro. Guaidó insists that will change.