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Venezuela calls march against US for alleged coup bid

Venezuela calls march against US for alleged coup bid”

Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela's foreign minister, responded Saturday to an article by The New York Times detailing secret meetings between US officials and Venezuelan officers seeking to oust Maduro.

Trump has been harshly critical of Maduro's leftist regime, as Venezuela has spiraled downward into a grave economic and humanitarian crisis that has sparked violent protests and prompted a wave of emigration into nearby countries.

The Times article, based on interviews with US officials and a Venezuelan former military commander who is seeking to overthrow Maduro, gave an account of several meetings that took place starting last fall and continuing into this year.

The White House has not denied talks have taken place.

During the first meetings, one of the attendees allegedly told USA officials they could convince small groups within the Venezuelan military to plot against the Maduro government.

Several U.S. media outlets reported Saturday that the Trump administration has talked secretly with rebellious Venezuelan military officers several times to discuss their plans to stage a coup in the South American country.

"Right there in USA media, new and disgusting evidence is there to see", he said.

"The United States government hears daily the concerns of Venezuelans from all walks of life".

Claver-Carone is considered a conservative hard-liner on Cuba and was involved in tightening USA sanctions against Venezuelan officials.

Around the same time, he said publicly that he would not rule out a "military option" to end the chaos there. Maduro's government has since jailed dozens of the conspirators, although many remain at large.

Aside from confirming what the Venezuelan government has repeatedly warned against, namely the active plotting against the Maduro government by "political opposition" and USA participation, Londoño and Casey also revealed that the US designated a career diplomat to attend the conversations, listen and report on them.

From their first meeting held overseas in fall 2017, the diplomat made the assessment that the Venezuelan rebels did not appear to have a detailed plan, but instead were hoping the American government would provide guidance or ideas, the Times reported. In July, the Associated Press reported that Trump personally pressed aides on whether to invade the country, although White House officials and regional Latin American leaders reportedly met the idea with opposition.

However, the officers had explicitly "asked the U.S.to supply them with encrypted radios, citing the need to communicate securely, as they developed a plan to install a transitional government to run the country until elections could be held".



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