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Juan Guaido, the leader of the Venezuelan opposition, has instructed his envoy to the United States Carlos Vecchio to start talks with the U.S. military for help in overthrowing the Nicolas Maduro government, the Associated Press reports, citing a statement by Guaido.
In his statement, the self-declared interim president of Venezuela referred to the talks as “direct communications” on a possible military “coordination”, in the latest sign that his efforts and those of his compatriots are not having the desired effect despite weeks of protests and a takeover of the U.S. business of Venezuela’s PDVSA, Citgo.
At the end of April, Guaido declared what he called “the final phase” in the opposition’s battle against the incumbent government, saying some in the Venezuelan military had switched allegiances and now supported the opposition. He called on the rest to drop their loyalty to Maduro and join the opposition’s fight. However, the phrase “final phase” turned out to be a little exaggerated with a few soldiers joining in the protests and nothing definitive resulting from them.
The opposition leader has said he considers that he has the right to invite foreign military forces to intervene in Venezuela in a way similar to how Simon Bolivar, the leader of the Venezuelan revolutionary movement, invited British mercenaries to oust the Spaniards from the country. What he may have neglected, however, is that there is a difference between ousting a foreign ruler and removing a local government despite the less than flattering track record of that same government using the military of a country that is unlikely to be a favorite with many Venezuelans suffering the consequences of U.S. sanctions.
In other words, the situation in the troubled country will likely continue to deteriorate, and as a direct result of this, Venezuela’s oil production will continue to suffer, supporting international prices. A direct U.S. military intervention--which, the AP notes, has not been seriously considered so far despite general statements to the tune of every option being on the table--would undoubtedly push prices even higher.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.