President of the United States Donald Trump has said that military intervention in Venezuela is “an option” in order to secure the democratic transition of power.
In the meantime, France has said it will officially recognise Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader, as interim president if the incumbent president Nicolas Madura fails to announce a vote by Sunday evening.
Mr Trump said that he had rejected Mr Maduro’s request for a meeting, saying that “we’re very far along in the process”.
On Saturday, Mr Maduro offered an early parliamentary election in order to reassert his power over the government as tens of thousands protested against his rule. Things were made worse for Mr Maduro when one of his senior general officially defected to support the opposition.
Nathalie Loiseau, the French European Affairs Minister, said that Mr Maduro’s offer for a parliamentary election was a “farce” and that if he did not commit to a presidential election by the deadline then France would officially recognise Mr Guaido as “interim president until legitimate elections in Venezuela” took place.
Canada, the United States and Australia have already put their support behind Mr Guaido. However, other nations, such as Turkey, feel that outside interference is only making the situation more chaotic.
With the news of military elements picking sides in the power struggle, there are fears of a violent military takeover or civil war.
There are also allegations that Mr Maduro’s government used special police units to abuse a kill at least 10 people in Venezuelan slums.
The police unit allegedly responsible for the killings has dismissed the allegations as “fake news”, as well as said if anyone feared them “it’s because you’re a criminal”.
According to Provea, a Venezuelan rights group, the government’s security forces have killed 100 people living in impoverished neighbourhoods without any subsequent investigations.