WASHINGTON, April 6. /TASS/. The United States has been seriously considering the use of military force against Venezuela as diplomatic measures are becoming inefficient, a high-ranking US administration official said during a phone briefing on Friday.
The United States’ diplomatic tools "continue to diminish due to Maduro’s recent actions," the official said.
"These tools are diminishing, which is leaving us with increased economic tools and increased economic pressure <...> and also a military option, which, as President Trump has said, is on the table," the source went on.
He added that the military option was the result that "no one would like to see," but it remains "the one being seriously considered as events unfold."
"The European community, the United States and the Lima group have made it clear that the consequences of any harm that comes, or an arrest of Juan Guaido would be devastating to Maduro, it would be the worst and last mistake he makes, and, therefore, we are watching very closely," the official said.
He also called upon the armed forces of Venezeula "to uphold their constitutional duty to protect the Venezuelan people from the terrorist groups, known as the Collectivos," which he claimed had been called upon by Maduro with the purpose "to break the constitutionality of Venezuela, to violate the constitution and to repress Venezuelans."
Trump earlier said his country has almost run out of economic and political options on Venezuela and was now considering the military scenario.
Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas on January 23. Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as president. Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro blasted these actions as an attempted coup and said that he was cutting diplomatic ties with the United States.
In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.