White House warns Russia, others against sending troops to Venezuela

A supporter of Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido listens to him as she lifts a cap with the colors of his country during a rally in Caracas Venezuela Thursday

A supporter of Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido listens to him as she lifts a cap with the colors of his country during a rally in Caracas Venezuela Thursday

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told the House Armed Services Committee earlier this week his office is studying the issue but framed a potential response as focused on humanitarian support to the U.S. Agency for International Development or the State Department, and perhaps based outside Venezuela.

His comments come amid US attempts to press Maduro to give up power, arguing his re-election past year was not legitimate.

Officials in Donald Trump's administration saw red when planes carrying Russian military specialists landed in Caracas on Saturday.

'We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations, ' Bolton said.

Russian Federation and China support Maduro, who has said Guaido is a puppet of Washington.

'We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to global peace and security in the region.

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President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton along with the USA special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said Russia's military presence in the country is destabilizing amid the country's political and economic crisis.

Bolton's statement also condemned Maduro's "use of foreign military personnel in his attempt to remain in power, including the introduction of Russian military personnel and equipment into Venezuela". Moscow later confirmed that the arrival was linked to the military-technical cooperation deal sealed in 2001, stressing it does not need any further approval, including by the opposition-controlled parliament. "There are a lot of things we can do in economic terms, in terms of sanctions", Abrams told reporters Friday, adding that "it would be a mistake for the Russians to think they have a free hand". Oil provides 90 percent of export revenue for Venezuela.

Years of economic mismanagement have left Venezuela's economy in shambles, causing hyperinflation. Severe shortages of food and medicine are common, and power blackouts have exacerbated the crisis.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido says medical aid will be coming into the South American country.

When asked by Rep. Salud Carbajal whether the White House intends to use the US military to resolve the situation in Venezuela, Shanahan told the California Democrat, "That's not my understanding". "The kind of aid that is needed for a broad recovery of the Venezuelan economy really can't be put in place until the regime is replaced by a democratic government", he said.

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