RIO DE JANEIRO — The head of U.S. Southern Command says military officials are focusing on preparing for “the day after” once “isolated” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro leaves power.
Navy Adm. Craig Faller warned Monday against Venezuela’s “formidable weapon system” and criticized Cuba, Russia and China for assisting Maduro, saying it was important to put “continuous pressure” on the “illegitimate regime” and organize humanitarian efforts.
US Marines ‘likely’ to enter Venezuela, but will have trouble ‘getting out,’ Venezuelan socialist party official says
The heated rhetoric from the Venezuelan socialist leader follows an aggressive encounter between a Venezuelan SU-30 Flanker and an American EP-3 on July 19.
Faller also shared concern about the growing influence of China in Brazil. China is the South American country’s largest foreign investor.
The commander is in Rio de Janeiro for a multinational maritime exercise this month that partly aims to better coordinate the response to cyber war threats and natural disasters.
Venezuela sent a fighter jet to buzz a U.S. reconnaissance operating in the Caribbean Sea on Friday, the Miami-based U.S. Southern Command reported Sunday.