The president of the Venezuelan Parliament, Juan Guaidó, asked on Saturday his diplomatic representative in the US, Carlos Vecchio, to meet with the leaders of the Southern Command of that country to coordinate possible military cooperation in the face of the Venezuelan crisis. Meanwhile, the minister of defense of the administration of Nicolás Maduro, Vladimir Padrino López, warned on the same day a provocation of a US Coast Guard vessel that sailed 20 kilometers away from La Guaira, the main port of Venezuela.
Guaidó, declared interim constitutional president of Venezuela by the Parliament and recognized by dozens of countries, announced the order that he assigned to Vecchio, to meet immediately with the Southern Command and the admiral to be able to establish direct relations in matters of cooperation, the opposition leader said at a public ceremony in eastern Caracas.
Guaidó said he has been in talks with members of the Venezuelan National Armed Forces to achieve a cessation of usurpation in the country. He also reiterated that along with allied governments led by the United States, they keep all options on the table in the search for a solution to the national crisis that includes, as he said, Maduro's exit from power, whom he considers an illegitimate head of state.
The escalation of political tension has increased since the failed military uprising last April 30, when images of the parliament chief with the released opposition leader Leopoldo López and a small group of soldiers waked the country with the news of an uprising and alleged negotiations with government officials who intended to overthrow Maduro on the same day.
We are not afraid to say that we have spoken with the Armed Forces and with all those who are willing to pay for the cessation of usurpation, the transitional government and free elections. There is a clear division and rupture in the Armed Forces and more are going to be pronounced, said the parliamentarian.
Among those involved in the alleged negotiations with the United States was Padrino Lopez, who from a military act in the state Vargas announced that these days we had to face a provocation from a US Coast Guard vessel sailing in the contiguous zone approaching just one mile from our territorial sea.
According to a statement from the Venezuelan Navy, the CG James was on patrol activities when she received and complied with an order to leave the territorial waters. ”We are not going to accept it (...) we are demanding that the law be respected (...) it is not a plea, it is not a favor, Padrino López remarked.
The military chief reiterated his criticism of Donald Trump's government for the sanctions he has applied against officials in recent years.
Crimes against humanity that the empire is committing with the infamous blockade it has against Venezuela and economic persecution,” said Padrino López, who blamed the US for the shortage of food and medicine that the country has experienced since before the sanctions took place.