SEN. RICK SCOTT CASUALLY CALLS FOR US TO CONSIDER INVADING VENEZUELA
Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott reiterated Wednesday a call for the United States to consider invading Venezuela, a scenario Russia has said would have “catastrophic” consequences.
“People are suffering,” Scott tweeted, in both English and Spanish. “People are dying. In our hemisphere. On our watch. The aid in this warehouse can feed 30,000 people for 10 days, but Maduro’s blocking it. It’s clear that we’ll have to consider American military assets to deliver aid. [Maduro] has left us no choice.”
Maduro is battling U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido for control of the country, after Guaido declared Maduro’s re-election illegitimate and declared himself president in January. The political turmoil is another layer of crisis for Venezuela, which is already in dire straits economically. Adding to complications is the larger standoff between the United States and Russia, which, along with China, Cuba and Turkey, continues to recognize Maduro’s government as legitimate.
Maduro blocked the United States from sending humanitarian aid to the country in February, prompting the United States and some of the other 50 countries backing Guaido to impose sanctions. Those have so far proved ineffective. Russia, meanwhile, has sent military planes and troops to strengthen Maduro’s hold.
Scott has repeatedly called for the United States to seriously consider sending troops to intervene in recent weeks.
“We must not appear weak in the face of Chinese, Russian, and Cuban determination to prop up Maduro,” he said in a recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute. “Our adversaries question our will and our determination. Put simply, they don’t think we’re serious.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has also expressed increasingly strong support for Maduro, calling the situation a national security threat, but has stopped short of calling for a military intervention.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned the United States early this year to keep troops out of the country, saying the move would “shake the foundations” of their “development model” in Latin America.