ANKARA: The best solution to the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela is a regional solution, “not a European one through the International Contact Group,” according to a top US security official. “We support the Lima Group because we think that the solution in Venezuela must be a regional solution,” Mauricio Claver-Carone, head of the US National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere, told TVN News Panama on Wednesday.
“The Contact Group may have good intentions but we do not believe that what is needed in Venezuela is a European solution.” The Lima Group, founded in 2017 in the Peruvian capital, is a bloc of 12 Latin American nations working to find a solution to Venezuela’s crisis. The Trump administration has been focusing on economic and diplomatic measures against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, including imposing sanctions on him, his top officials, and several governmental departments as it seeks to ramp up pressure on him to step down.
The US’ mounting pressure against Venezuela is in line with CIA’s paradigm shift under its new head Gina Haspel to tackle ”adversary states”, rather than fighting terror groups as the US has done since 9/11 under the pretext of a ”global war on terror”. After imposing sweeping sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm PDVSA in January, Trump issued an executive order earlier this month freezing all assets in the US belonging to the Venezuelan government in a significant escalation of tensions with Caracas.
Since the beginning of this year, Venezuela has been embroiled in political unrest as Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido engage in a power battle amid a dire economic crisis in the Latin American nation. Guaido in January proclaimed himself Venezuela’s interim president, dismissing Maduro’s 2018 re-election as a fraud, in a move recognized by more than 50 countries, including the US. But Venezuelan state institutions, the military, and many countries including Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey have put their weight behind Maduro. Nearly 5,000 people leave Venezuela every day due to instability and uncertainty amid the economic and political crisis, and 3 million Venezuelans have left since 2015, according to the UN refugee agency. (AA)