Caracas: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has said he is considering asking the US to launch a military intervention in the embattled country.
Speaking to the BBC, he said he would “evaluate all options” to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
Last week, he launched a failed attempt to spark a military rebellion and force Maduro out of power.
The president responded by delivering an address from an army base in Caracas, flanked
Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s interim leader in January. As the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, he invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing that Maduro’s re-election last year was illegitimate.
But Maduro – who is backed by Russia, China and the leaders of Venezuela’s military – has refused to cede power.
Guaido has the support of more than 50 countries, including the US, UK and most Latin American nations – and he has told the BBC that US support for him has been “decisive”.
“I think President (Donald) Trump’s position is very firm, which we appreciate, as does the entire world,” he said.
Asked whether he would like Trump and the US military to intervene, he responded it is “responsible to evaluate” the possibility of international intervention, adding: “I, as the president in charge of the national parliament, will evaluate all options if necessary.”
Trump told reporters on Friday that he wasn’t looking to get the US military involved in Venezuela.
He said that in a call, Russian president Vladimir Putin had assured him that “he is not looking to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela”, before adding: “And I feel the same way.”
But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had much stronger words for Russia on Sunday, telling the US broadcaster ABC that “the Russians must get out”.
“It’s very clear, we want the Russians out, we want the Iranians out, we want the Cubans out,” he said.
In response to the clashes this week, Maduro appeared on Friday flanked by soldiers at an army base in Caracas, calling on the armed forces to defeat “any coup plotter”.
“No one dare touch our sacred ground or bring war to Venezuela,” he added, in a show of defiance that followed days of clashes. Four people died in the violence, including two teenagers.