Washington : The White House warned Tuesday the Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro against the temptation to attack the opponent Juan Guaido, she recognized as acting president.
“Those who try to sabotage democracy and attack Guaido will suffer the consequences,” tweeted Donald Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton.
Bolton was reacting to the decision of the Venezuelan Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, to demand the application of “precautionary measures” against Mr. Guaido, including the ban on leaving the country and the blocking of his accounts.
“We denounce the threats of the former Attorney General of Venezuela against President Juan Guaido,” said the US adviser.
Later in the day, Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) effectively banned Juan Guaido from leaving the country and froze his bank accounts.
After announcing Monday measures against the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, the United States threatened Tuesday, by the voice of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, additional sanctions.
Kimberly Breier, Deputy Secretary of State for the Americas, met with opposition leader Carlos Vecchio, appointed by Juan Guaido as new chargé d’affaires of Venezuela in the United States, to “discuss next steps to support the democratic transition in Venezuela “.
“We are united with all those who are in favor of democracy,” she tweeted.
After a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House, Carlos Vecchio said the political struggle in Venezuela was “a fight between democracy and dictatorship”.
“We need the support of the international community, we can not do this alone,” he said.
At the same time, the new Venezuelan representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) Gustavo Tarre – named after the recognition by the United States, Canada and other Latin American countries of Juan Guaido as president by interim – claimed that the latter did not demand “a coup”.
Mr. Tarre was also confident that the demonstrations and the pressure of sanctions would bend Nicolas Maduro. “I do not think anyone is ready in Venezuela to die for Maduro,” he said from Washington, where the OAS is based.
“In civil wars, normally there are people with strong convictions,” he said. “In Venezuela, there are corrupt people, people who have sympathy for Maduro, but people ready to fight and die for Maduro, I think there is none.”
The international community fears a humanitarian catastrophe in Venezuela, which is struggling between hyperinflation (10,000,000% in 2019 according to the IMF) and severe shortages of food and medicine.