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Americans Should Reject Military Intervention in Venezuela

Venezuela’s would-be president won’t rule out calling for U.S. military intervention:

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido refused to rule out on Friday the possibility of authorizing United States intervention to help force President Nicolas Maduro from power and alleviate a humanitarian crisis.

National Assembly leader Guaido told AFP he would do “everything that is necessary… to save human lives,” acknowledging that US intervention is “a very controversial subject.”

It is stupid and dangerous for Guaido to be talking about U.S. military intervention, and in doing so he is almost certainly making it more difficult to resolve the crisis in Venezuela peacefully. The military’s support for Maduro remains the largest and most significant obstacle to the opposition’s claim to power. Floating the idea of a foreign invasion for any reason gives the top military commanders an added incentive to stick with Maduro and resist attempts to depose him, and they already have several reasons to remain on his side.

U.S. military intervention in Venezuela must not happen, and members of Congress should make clear that it is not an option. Rep. Ro Khanna responded to Guaido’s statements earlier today:

Attacking Venezuela would be a costly and unnecessary war for the U.S., but more than that it would be a calamity for the people of Venezuela, whose country would be plunged into even worse conditions for the duration of the conflict. The U.S. needs to be willing to consider some sort of compromise solution, whether it is a power-sharing arrangement or negotiations that lead to the holding of early elections. An all-or-nothing approach to the crisis is likely to lead to escalation, and so far that has been the only kind of approach that the Trump administration knows how to do. Military intervention would be the absolute worst form that approach could take, and Congress and the public need to oppose any moves by this administration in that direction.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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