Alwaght- The hawkish US think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), reportedly hosted a private roundtable on April 10 called “Assessing the Use of Military Force in Venezuela.”
The Grayzone portal published an exclusive piece shedding some light on the secretive that brought bringing together American and South American officials.
"Among the roughly 40 figures invited to the off-the-record event to discuss potential US military action against Caracas were some of the most influential advisors on President Donald Trump’s Venezuela policy. They included current and former State Department, National Intelligence Council, and National Security Council officials, along with Admiral Kurt Tidd, who was until recently the commander of US SOUTHCOM," The Grayzone reported.
"Senior officials from the Colombian and Brazilian embassies like Colombian General Juan Pablo Amaya, as well as top DC representatives from Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido’s shadow government, also participated in the meeting," the report added.
The roundtable was held on April 10, yet its check-list was misleadingly dated as April 20. The fact the meeting had actually taken place was confirmed by its participants to the writer of the report investigative journalist Max Blumenthal. They were not very eager to talk, though.
"We talked about military… uh… military options in Venezuela. That was earlier this week though,” research associate at CSIS’s Americas Program Sarah Baumunk said. She promptly grew nervous, adding that she didn’t “feel comfortable answering these questions” and hung up on the journalist.
Another listed attendee, a research associate with international strategy firm Hills & Company, Santiago Herdoiza, simply said it was a “closed meeting” without providing any details.
"They were extremely nervous that somebody in the media knew about the existence of this event. It was a very high-level meeting with basically the main people in Washington involved in making the sausage of Trump’s Venezuela policy and they wanted to keep it as private as possible,” Blumenthal told RT on Sunday. “It really does show that military options are being seriously considered at this point, after all other mechanisms that Trump has put into play seem to have failed".
While the closest supporters of Guaido are pushing for foreign intervention, Blumenthal believes that regional partners of the US are quite reluctant to partake in it.
"Any US invasion of Venezuela would be contingent on the consent from the Colombian and Brazilian governments and its very unclear that they’ll get that consent,” Blumenthal said.
"Both governments are extremely worried about increasing the migration crisis, they are deeply worried about destabilizing the entire region and that’s absolutely what this would entail. And they are also worried about a counterattack from the Venezuela military, which is very competent".
While talking of the “use of military force” in secrecy, the US continues to tempt Venezuelan citizens and officials with promises of lavish aid – which, of course, would only be possible if the legitimate President Nicolas Maduro is ousted. On Saturday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington will lead the effort to salvage Venezuela's economy – which it has so far been strangling with sanctions.
"We're going to be working on trying to put together a consortium of about $10 billion of trade finance that would be available for the new government to spark trade,” Mnuchin said.