Representatives of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido will meet with military officials from the US Southern Command to explore the possibility of US military intervention in the country.
The request for “strategic and operational planning” from US SouthCom Admiral Craig Faller to help boost opposition chances at ousting incumbent President Maduro comes as Guaido is in an increasingly weak negotiating position. Maduro’s support from the armed forces remains strong and his failed coup in the past week has pushed him to enter into early negotiations with the government sponsored by Norway. Large-scale US support is therefore highly unlikely, but could see Washington provide military and logistical support by moving naval assets such as an aircraft carrier into the region.
The White House and President Trump have been warming to the idea of military support for Venezuela’s opposition. While more hawkish figures such as National Security Advisor John Bolton are in favour of intervention, Washington is expected to pursue a strategy that would see it pressure the military support that Maduro relies on.
However, as seen with past domestic opposition attempts to sway military support from Maduro, military support is unlikely to change in the short-term. Additionally, as the Norway-sponsored talks continue in their exploratory phase, political negotiations remain another distant possibility.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.