TEHRAN — Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza stressed on Monday that Caracas prefers diplomacy to solve the ongoing political crisis, but is ready for any scenario, and will retaliate if the United States chooses to take military action against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
“We are prepared for any scenario… If [the U.S.] prefers the military path, we are ready to resist — we have an army, police, our people, and we are ready to destroy any army, no matter how powerful it is”, he said, adding that Caracas has consistently called on Washington to resolve all issues through dialogue.
According to Sputnik, the foreign minister continued on by saying that the number of Russian military experts in Venezuela may be increased.
“I would like to remind [you] that a large part of military equipment in Venezuela is Russian… [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin has offered us the best equipment that exists now and it allowed us to create a strong defence structure. All this requires maintenance. We need to improve it, exchange information. Currently, there is a commission of specialists in Venezuela, of course, it can be expanded”, Arreaza told reporters.
Arreaza then claimed that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Venezuelan opposition have devised a plan to oust Maduro in order to get hold of the country’s natural resources.
The foreign minister’s comments come shortly after Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president, told the BBC that he “will evaluate all options if necessary” when asked if he would welcome U.S. military intervention.
Even though his coup attempt failed last week, Guaido claims that it is “clearly visible that the armed forces no longer support Maduro”.
“I think the only one who really hurts himself is Maduro. He has been losing again and again. He is increasingly weak, increasingly alone, and has no international support. On the contrary, we gain acceptance, support and future options”, he said.
Speaking with The Washington Post after the botched coup attempt, Guaido branded the discussions of military options in the U.S. “great news”.
“That’s great news to Venezuela because we are evaluating all options. It’s good to know that important allies like the US are also evaluating the option. That gives us the possibility that if we need cooperation, we know we can get it”, Guaido told the news outlet.