Rubio Demands US Initiate “Widespread Unrest” In Venezuela…”They’re not even hiding it at this point.”

Friday, March 8, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/07/2019

Predictably during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday, Republican chairman Marco Rubio condemned Venezuela’s Maduro as a “clear danger” and a “threat to the national security of the US.” To be expected the hearing was filled with plenty of threats and talk of flipping “military elites” and enforcing tougher sanctions.

But perhaps unexpected was just how out in the open and brazen Rubio’s own admissions of how far he’s willing to go in promoting regime change in Caracas. In public testimony he called on the US to promote “widespread unrest” in order to eventually bring down the Maduro government.

t appears Rubio is now urging the White House to initiate a full-on “Syria option” for Venezuela, which implies covert arming, funding, and militarization of the opposition to reach peak escalation and confrontation with the government, perhaps inviting broader external military intervention, similar to efforts to topple Syria’s Assad over the past years.

We’ve commented before about how popular anti-Maduro protests seemed to have lost significant momentum of late, pretty much fading out altogether over the past couple weeks, after tensions came to a head on Feb. 23 when US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido led a failed attempt to get an unauthorized humanitarian aid convoy across the Colombian-Venezuelan border.

This as it appeared the opposition was itching for a provocation that might draw the US and regional allies into some of kind of more direct intervention, and as a significant uptick in US military flights went to and from Colombia near the border with Venezuela.

During Thursday’s Senate hearing, there appeared a willingness to admit the fact that it appears Maduro is not going anywhere anytime soon, for example, when the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, said, “Confronting tyranny requires sustained commitment. But Maduro is not invincible. He’s far from it.”

Though issuing plenty of threats of tighter sanctions and strangling Venezuelan oil exports, the Democrats on the committee stopped short of endorsing military action: “The support that we have lent unequivocally on Venezuela does not include the use of force,” Menendez said further.

However, Rubio’s extreme “regime change by any means possible” hawkishness was on full display. Journalist Max Blumenthal reports:

At Senate hearing on Venezuela just now, Marco Rubio called for the US to promote “widespread unrest” as a means of encouraging regime change. His proposal was met with approval.

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