Rio De Janeiro/Caracas: Admiral Craig Faller, who heads the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) hinted at taking action against Venezuela. He said, ‘I won’t speak to details of what we’re planning and what we’re doing, but we remain ready to implement policy decisions, and we remain on the balls of our feet.’ Only a few days ago, the Venezuelan Defence Minister visited Russia and signed an agreement for the deployment of Russian warships in Venezuela. The US Navy’s statement, which followed, thus assumes much significance.
Since the last few days, the media reported that ‘secret talks’ were ongoing between the United States and Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro. Also, the Venezuelan dictator has corroborated the reports. Some of the sources in the United States confirmed that talks were in fact in progress as well. Although the United States has not set aside the policy to corner Venezuela and take military action against it despite the talks. Furthermore, US President Donald Trump had announced a blockade a few days ago.
Sharp reactions had emanated from Venezuela over Trump’s announcement. Maduro had warned that the Venezuelan people were ready to face any aggression from the United States. At the same time, the countries standing in support of the Maduro government such as Russia, China and Cuba, warned to counter the US-imposed blockade. Russia has said that it was watching the sanctions the US had imposed on Venezuela and warned the US not to corner Venezuela.
Despite the aggressive stance of Maduro and the states supporting it, the United States refuses to change its policy and appears to have kept the alternative for military action open. Additionally, the ‘UNITAS’ naval exercise currently underway in Brazil, is considered to be a preparation given the military option. Along with the US Navy and Marine Corps, the navies of 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries, have also participated in the exercise.
The United States has claimed that the exercise was an effort to strengthen maritime cooperation with the allies. The maritime training being held in the Brazilian waters, would conclude on 30th of August.
Admiral Craig Faller, the SOUTHCOM commander, has arrived in Brazil for the exercise. As he clarified the position on Venezuela, Adm. Faller asserted that the US Navy was fully prepared and ready for any action. Adm. Faller warned that the US Navy was geared up for possible action against Venezuela. ‘The United States Navy is the most powerful navy in the world. If a policy decision is made to deploy the Navy, I’m convinced that we’ll be able to do what needs to be done,’ he added.
Previously, the US Department of Defence had allegedly deployed military units and the air force in Brazil and Colombia, the countries that share borders with Venezuela. Moreover, reports had surfaced of the US surveillance aircraft flying over the Venezuelan waters. On the sidelines of the developments, the statement of the commander of the US Southern Command on its readiness for whatever that needs to be done with respect to Venezuela is remarkable.