Elliot Abrams, the United States envoy to Venezuela, has warned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that taking any actions against the self-proclaimed Venezuelan interim president Juan Guaido would be an “extremely foolish move”.
According to Reuters news reports, Abrams said the US would continue to keep up pressure on Maduro in order to oust him by applying furthermore sanctions against Venezuela and searching for assets like gold holdings and bank accounts. Abrams told a group of reporters that “the security of interim president Guaido is a concern”.
Abrams said: “The regime has not acted against him in some time and I hope that is because they recognize that he has the support of the vast majority of Venezuelans, and that would be an extremely foolish move for the regime to make.”
Abrams emphasized that to unseat Maduro, who still has the support from the military, could take some time.
When asked whether the US might have underestimated the military’s backing to Maduro, Abrams said, “This may well be, and the democratic forces believe it can be, a turning point. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen this week and we’re not picking dates.”
Abrams said there was discussion over ramping up support to Venezuelans through a “humanitarian corridor” into the country. However, he did not offer any further details about how such a scheme would be operated.
Abrams said, “The humanitarian corridor is something we’re looking at, but of course it requires the cooperation of the regime.” He added, “I don’t know how practical that is. It hasn’t been possible to date.”