Officials from President Donald Trump’s administration met secretly with Venezuelan military officers to discuss plans to oust President Nicolas Maduro but eventually “decided not to help”, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The Times, citing unnamed American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who took part in the secret talks, said the coup plans stalled.
“The Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who participated in the talks,” The Times reported on Saturday.
After explosives-laden drones blew up near Maduro at an August 4 event in Caracas — he blamed the US, Colombia and his domestic enemies — the State Department condemned the “political violence” but also denounced what it said were the arbitrary detentions and forced confessions of suspects.
Trump has been harshly critical of Maduro’s leftist regime, as Venezuela has spiraled downward into a grave economic and humanitarian crisis.
A National Security Council spokesman in remarks to AFP, said that: “US policy preference for a peaceful, orderly return to democracy in Venezuela remains unchanged.”
“The United States government hears daily the concerns of Venezuelans from all walks of life… They share one goal: the rebuilding of democracy in their homeland,” added spokesman Garrett Marquis.
“A lasting solution to Venezuela’s worsening crisis can only arise following restoration of governance by democratic practices, the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms.”