Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the US administration, in collaboration with Venezuela’s opposition figure Juan Guaido and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, is hatching a “plan for war” against Caracas.
“From the White House, a plan has been decided to bring war to Venezuela… to escalate a violent and armed conflict and justify an invasion,” Maduro said during a televised speech at his presidential palace in the capital on Friday.
Maduro accused Washington of forging plans against his government and said US President “Donald Trump has given the order to fill Venezuela with violence” with the support of Guaido, who he once again called “puppet.”
The 57-year-old president said the United States was at the head of more than 50 countries that rejected Maduro’s second term, considering him “illegitimate,” and instead recognizing Guaido as president in charge.
“And now, Jair Bolsonaro was quoted in the Donald Trump’s mansion in Miami, the only issue is pushing Brazil into an armed conflict with Venezuela, [that] is the only issue he has with Jair Bolsonaro, and from Venezuela we denounce him,” Maduro added.
He went on to say that “we are asking the democratic and humanitarian circles, the people of Brazil and the armed forces [of that country] to stop any adventures against Venezuela by Trump-backed Jair Bolsonaro.”
The White House announced earlier in the day that Trump was to meet with the Brazilian president — dubbed the “Trump of the Tropics” — on Saturday to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, among other issues.
In a move to further downgrade relations with Venezuela, Brazil’s far-right government of Bolsonaro, which is allied with the US, has begun pulling out all its diplomats from Caracas, and has called on Maduro to recall his country’s representatives from Brasilia.
Guaido is considered responsible for causing a political crisis in Venezuela when he unilaterally declared himself “interim president” of the country in January last year, rejecting the outcome of the May 2018 election, which Maduro had won. Guaido also later launched an abortive coup against the elected government.
Guaido’s self-proclamation as president and his coup received full support from Washington. Caracas has said election results must be respected, but has shown lenience and refrained from arresting Guaido over the coup.
The US has imposed several rounds of sanctions against the oil-rich South American country aimed at ousting Maduro and replacing him with Guaido.