EU warns against military intervention in Venezuela

epaselect epa07397724 An injured man is helped during clashes between Venezuelan demonstrators and members of the Bolivarian National Guard, at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, in the border between Cucuta, Colombia and Venezuela, on 25 February 2019. EPA-EFE/Ernesto Guzmán Jr ATTENTION EDITORS: GRAPHIC CONTENT

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The European Union on Monday urged the United States and Latin American powers against launching a military intervention to oust the regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

Meanwhile the United States targeted Venezuela’s government with new sanctions on Monday and called on allies to freeze the assets of its state-owned oil company PDVSA after deadly violence blocked humanitarian aid from reaching the country over the weekend.

As Colombia’s foreign minister warned about “credible threats to the life” of Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido, the Trump administration also took its pressure campaign to the United Nations Security Council, asking it to discuss the situation in Venezuela, diplomats said.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions were imposed on four Venezuelan state governors allied with the government of President Nicolas Maduro, blocking any assets they control in the United States.

A spokesman for Federica Mogherini, the EU diplomatic chief, urged those gathered in Bogota to stop short of declaring war.

“We must avoid a military intervention,” said Maja Kocijancic.

“What is explicitly quite clear, from our point of view, is that we need a peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution of this crisis.

“This obviously excludes the use of force.”

On Monday night Brazil definitively ruled out permitting military intervention from their territory, with the vice president saying it would not be allowed.

Hours later Venezuela’s government issued a statement accusing the US and the Lima Group countries of conducting “a ferocious campaign to oust” Maduro by trampling on basic international human rights.

The statement also rejected Pence’s announcements, accusing him of attempting “to give orders so that other countries join the vulgar plundering” that Washington is pursuing against Venezuela’s assets.

Via Reuters/ The Telegraph

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