Trump administration met, and rebuffed, Venezuela military coup plotters, report says

A month before the August attack against the Venezuelan president, Donald Trump was considering an array of options, including military action, to end a crisis in Venezuela

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 September, 2018, 7:09am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 September, 2018, 7:09am

The US held at least three meetings with Venezuelan military officers before deciding not to help them overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, The New York Times reported on Saturday, citing unidentified US officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who took part in the talks.

In the end, no joint operation was ever proposed between US and coup plotters, a former Venezuelan commander told the paper.

In July, a personal familiar with the matter said President Trump was considering an array of options, including military action, to bring an end to the long-running crisis in Venezuela.

Associated Press also reported in July that Trump had pressed aides on the possibility of invading Venezuela during a meeting in the Oval Office in August 2017.

Maduro in August escaped unharmed in an attack by explosive-laden drones that wounded officers and sent soldiers scurrying during a military parade in Caracas. The country’s security forces subsequently made a wave of arrests.

Venezuela arrests six over drone attack on President Maduro

Bloomberg News reported after the incident that in April, a number of Venezuelan military dissidents plotted in neighbouring Colombia to overthrow Maduro, and met there with a second group, comprised mostly of civilians, who wanted to assassinate him.

A spokesman for the National Security Council said Saturday that “US policy preference for a peaceful, orderly return to democracy in Venezuela remains unchanged.”

“A lasting solution to Venezuela’s worsening crisis can only arise following restoration of governance by democratic practices, the rule of law, and respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms,” the NSC’s Garrett Marquis said in an emailed statement.