Russian official accuses U.S. of preparing military intervention in Venezuela

International      Venezuela and China What It Is and What It’s Not
     
     
       By Parsifal D. Sola

US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said Tuesday, following the UN Security Council meeting, that he believes there will soon be a UN resolution regarding Venezuela.

Pence reiterated the US threat that all options remain on the table, but the Lima Group said at the end of their Monday meeting that they support a democratic transition of power.

"Nobody is betting on a military solution", Mourão, a retired general, told reporters in Bogotá during a meeting of the Lima Group, a bloc of nations from Argentina to Canada dedicated to peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan crisis. He said the U.S. was imposing more sanctions on four pro-government governors, including a close Maduro ally who negotiated the release of an American jailed for more than two years. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in for his second term on 10 January after winning the May election, which part of the opposition boycotted, qualified Guaido's move as an attempted coup and accused Washington of staging it.

Vicente Torrijos, a conflict and security expert at the Universidad del Rosario, said that Venezuela has a clear "air superiority" over Colombia, while General Jose Mauricio Mancera, head of strategic planning for the Colombian Airforce called for strengthened air defense previous year.

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in the Colombian capital for an emergency summit of regional leaders to discuss the deepening crisis and immediately met with Juan Guaido, the opposition leader the United States and 50 other nations recognize as Venezuela's rightful president. Many of their diplomats - admittedly low-level - stormed out of the room just as Arreaza arrived to speak to the 47-member council.

The current U.S. regime also contains Michael Bolton, the man who pushed the invasion of Iraq in 2003 - a conflict which is increasingly being compared to the current situation.

Bencic upsets Kvitova to lift Dubai title
Saturday's title - the third of her career - will see her jump to 23 in the new world rankings from her current spot of 45th. The doubles final was won by Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova, who defeated Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 6-4.

"Patrushev also appeared to back the repression used by state security forces over the weekend, after four protesters were killed and a further 300 were injured as they attempted to force through USA humanitarian aid into the crisis-stricken country".

Maduro has faced regional condemnation this week for violently driving back the opposition's attempts to bring in humanitarian aid. Adam Isacson, a defense expert of the Washington Office on Latin America, said on his blog that not only might the border zone see some combat, but naval blockades and aerial attacks are "likely" in the event of a bilateral armed conflict.

The prospect of war seems closer than ever after last weekend's violent clashes on the border heightened tensions between the neighbors and spurred Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to call on the global community to "keep all options open".

"We announced some sanctions yesterday".

In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.

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