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U.S. military intervention in Venezuela ‘not an option’: lawmaker

U.S. military intervention in Venezuela ‘not an option’: lawmaker

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress is not going to assist U.S. navy intervention in Venezuela regardless of hints by President Donald Trump that such motion had not been dominated out, the Democratic chairman of the Home Overseas Affairs Committee stated on Wednesday.

Home Overseas Relations Committee Democratic Rating member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks with reporters after a closed intelligence briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel on the demise of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

“I do fear concerning the president’s saber rattling, his hints that U.S. navy intervention stays an possibility. I wish to clarify to our witnesses and to anybody else watching: U.S. navy intervention will not be an possibility,” U.S. Consultant Eliot Engel stated on the opening of a listening to on the unstable political scenario within the OPEC nation.

Below the U.S. Structure, Congress has to approve overseas navy motion.

Engel additionally warned concerning the attainable results on the Venezuelan individuals of U.S. sanctions on state oil firm PDVSA. America in January imposed sanctions aimed toward limiting President Nicolas Maduro’s entry to grease income.

“I respect the necessity to squeeze Maduro,” Engel stated. “However the White Home should assume by way of the potential repercussions that these sanctions may have on the Venezuelan individuals if Maduro doesn’t depart workplace within the coming weeks.”

Venezuela already faces power meals and medical provide shortages, hyperinflation and extreme financial contraction.

The top of the nation’s Nationwide Meeting legislature, Juan Guaido, invoked a constitutional provision to imagine the presidency three weeks in the past, arguing that Maduro’s re-election final 12 months was a sham.

Most Western international locations, together with the US, have acknowledged Guaido as Venezuela’s official head of state, however Maduro retains the backing of Russia and China, in addition to management of state establishments together with the navy.

Trump’s decide to guide U.S. efforts on Venezuela, former U.S. diplomat Elliott Abrams, stated Washington would sustain strain on Maduro and his interior circle by “quite a lot of means.”

“However we may also present off-ramps to those that will do what is correct for the Venezuelan individuals,” he stated.

Requested a few Wall Avenue Journal report that Guaido has held debt negotiations with Chinese language officers in Washington, Abrams stated there had been some discussions however he was unaware of any formal talks. Beijing has denied it held any talks with Venezuela’s opposition to guard its investments.

“I don’t imagine there are any negotiations, utilizing that time period narrowly. Discussions, sending of messages have taken place,” Abrams stated.

China has lent greater than $50 billion to Venezuela by way of oil-for-loan agreements over the previous decade, securing power provides for its fast-growing financial system.

Abrams drew intermittent protests in the beginning of the listening to. “You’re a convicted legal!” one man shouted earlier than being escorted out of the room.

Abrams, assistant secretary of state throughout the administration of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, was convicted in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of withholding info from Congress throughout the Iran-Contra scandal. He was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Doina Chiacu; Enhancing by Invoice Berkrot and Rosalba O’Brien

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