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The US denies being closer to a military intervention in Venezuela

September 10, 2019

The US special envoy for the Venezuelan crisis again asks the EU to increase the sanctions against the Government of Maduro

BRUSSELS, Sep 10 (EUROPE PRESS) –

The * special envoy * of the United States for the crisis in Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, has rejected Tuesday that the Trump administration is closer to a military intervention in Venezuela despite acknowledging concern about military exercises on the border with Colombia authorized by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

“No. The United States is not closer,” the American said in a press conference from Brussels despite making it clear that he is “very concerned” about the situation on the border between Venezuela and Colombia, the “intentions of the Maduro regime “with the military maneuvers on the border, as well as” the presence of the ELN and the FARC “on Venezuelan soil, in reference to the two Colombian guerrillas.

Abrams, who met Monday and Tuesday with senior diplomats of the Twenty-eight and the European diplomatic service to address the situation in Venezuela, has hoped that the maneuvers ordered by Maduro respond “only to a political act” and have “no military or security significance, “although it has been questioned whether Maduro seeks to” increase tensions. ”

“I hope they are not crazy enough to get involved in any kind of attack on Colombia,” he warned, making it clear that Colombia will have “full American support if this occurs,” while denouncing “very dangerous support for narcoterrorist groups. of the Maduro regime “and” the presence of FARC and ELN figures in Venezuela “. “We have intelligence, information,” he said.

Regarding the Government's request of the president “in charge” Juan Guaidó to convene the consultation body to activate the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) – the collective defense clause in case of armed attack that obliges the signatory countries to attend -, Abrams has said that it is about “talking about the ways” to “better integrate” your response to the Venezuelan crisis and it is “incorrect” to think that “this is a military action, this is the invasion”.

WASHINGTON BETS FOR PRESSURE

The US special envoy has made it clear in any case that “all options are on the table” as President Donald Trump has said on many occasions, although Washington's policy “now” focuses on “economic, financial pressure , diplomatic and political on the regime “. “It's what we are doing,” he said.

“We have asked the EU to join us to keep up the pressure on the regime,” said Abrams, who has been calling on the bloc for months to impose more sanctions on the Maduro regime.

The US special envoy has lamented that the Maduro regime “does not want to abandon power” and has argued that “additional pressure on the regime is needed to ensure that these negotiations that Norway has been hosting and that they are suspended for now at some point yield fruits. ”

In this regard, he has been convinced that “the EU is about to impose more sanctions” on Venezuelan individuals. “Sanctions work more when they are multilateral,” he said.

POSSIBLE SANCTIONS AGAINST ROSNEFT

Abrams has defended the impact of US sanctions on Venezuela and has assured that Washington could sanction Russian oil company Rosneft, which “is making a lot of money” with the sale of Venezuelan crude. “We have not reached that point yet,” he said however.

Diplomatic sources recognize that “the main message” that the American has transferred to the ambassadors of the Twenty-eight before the EU Political and Security Committee on Tuesday has been the need to strengthen the sanctions on the Maduro regime, but admit that “by now there is no big appetite “on the part of the block to reinforce individual sanctions” imminently “. The bloc insists on the need to support the process of negotiations sponsored by Oslo.