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MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. Washington is exploring new options to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power, including through the use of force, expert of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) Igor Pshenichnikov said in an interview with TASS on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, the forecasts of those analysts who did not rule out US military involvement in Venezuela are materializing," he noted. "Such tools to exert influence on President Maduro as ‘people’s protests’ and attempted coups do not bring success to the Americans."
"This being so, Washington is undoubtedly considering some new ways of toppling Venezuela’s president, that is, through military intervention," the expert stressed. "US President Donald Trump has made it clear that Washington is mulling all scenarios with regard to Venezuela, including a military operation." "That could be either an open military intervention and a ground campaign like the one against Panama in 1989 or airstrikes similar to those carried out against the Syrian base in the Homs province," Pshenichnikov said.
According to Pshenichnikov, the US "military intervention in Venezuela may occur sooner than airstrikes against North Korea." "Firstly, Venezuela will not be able to retaliate the way Pyongyang will do, it has no nuclear weapons. Venezuela is an easy target for the US, and Trump needs a small victorious war in the current difficult political environment," he noted.
According to the expert, any armed conflict with the guaranteed prospects for Washington’s victory "will help Trump score some points and put the probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the US elections on the back burner."
"Secondly, the US is obsessed with ousting Maduro with a view to regaining control over that country’s oil industry and will not give up its plans," the expert explained. "Besides, the US has actually designated itself as the leader of international struggle for ‘democracy’ in Venezuela, and it just cannot leave the situation as it is without detriment to its own image."
"The US has a wealth of experience in Latin America in terms of toppling unwanted regimes by using military force. It considers this region to be its domain and will not take anyone’s opinion into account," Pshenichnikov stressed. "If the US intervention in Venezuela becomes a reality, its aftermath could be a beginning of installing new regimes through the use of force in those countries in the region where anti-American forces are currently in power. That will also increase pressure on Cuba and Nicaragua where the Venezuelan scenario is possible as well."