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Venezuelan opposition leader goes public with calls for US assistance

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By Sylvanus Okpe

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in his desperate quest for a fresh election in the country has openly called for US assistance in pursuing with the objectives of a fresh polls.

The public appeal for assistance was cued from a letter posted early Monday by Gauido’s appointed Ambassador to US, Carlos Vecchio. The diplomat in the letter requested a meeting between the US Southern Command and Guaido’s representatives. The May 11 letter was addressed to US Adm. Craig S. Faller, who heads the Southern Command and who had previously voiced support for Guaido’s movement on the official Twitter account of the Southern Command.

Though the said letter did not specifically call for military actions, it was unclear the kind of assistance the opposition is soliciting from the world’s most powerful country.

The letter went on to read; Venezuela’s opposition movement would “welcome strategic and operational planning so that we may fulfill our constitutional obligation to the Venezuelan people,” Vecchio wrote to Faller.

For months, the US has refused to rule out military action in support of Guaido’s movement. However, US President Donald Trump has also urged caution among senior advisers moving forward, and expressed frustration that some aides were openly hinting at a US military intervention in Venezuela, according to officials familiar with the matter.

Guaido is Venezuela’s National Assembly President, recognized as the country’s legitimate interim president by more than 50 countries, including the United States. As momentum slows in the nationwide protests that he regularly organizes, Guaido has begun to eye new strategies for political change in the country.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s administration dismissed the letter, with Vice President Delcy Rodriguez saying during a nationally televised press conference that her council read and rejected Vecchio’s request. “Asking for a military intervention in Venezuela” was an attempt to destabilize the country, Rodriguez said.

The letter follows a speech that Guaido gave in Caracas on Saturday, when he echoed Donald Trump’s words, saying that “all options are on the table” and argued that a foreign “intervention” had already taken place in Venezuela — not by the US, but by Cuba, which supports Maduro’s government.

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