US officials, Venezuelan military officers discussed anti-Maduro coup plot: Report
US officials have reportedly met repeatedly with insurgent Venezuelan military officers over the past year to prepare potential coup plots to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Trump administration officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who took part in the discussions were cited in a New York Times report on Saturday as saying that a secret channel was established between American officials and the coup plotters.
“It was the commander in chief saying this now,” said the former Venezuelan commander as cited in the Times report. “I’m not going to doubt it when this was the messenger.”
The daily further noted that the reported discussions between US officials and the Venezuelan coup plotters could raise alarms in the region considering Washington’s background of numerous interventions across Latin America, including a controversial and particularly brutal US-backed coup in Chile in 1973 and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion to topple Cuba's Fidel Castro in 1961.
However, the White House issued a statement on Saturday claiming that "US policy preference for a peaceful, orderly return to democracy in Venezuela remains unchanged."
President Maduro has repeatedly warned his nation about persisting US efforts to meddle in Venezuela’s internal affairs and overthrow his government.