US envoy dismisses military force in Venezuela in prank call

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. envoy for Venezuela dismissed the possibility of American military action in the South American country in a recording made by two Russian pranksters and released Wednesday.

Special Representative Elliott Abrams said in the recording that the U.S. wouldn’t use force in Venezuela unless the government did something “completely crazy” like attack the American Embassy.

But Abrams, who apparently believed he was speaking with a Swiss official, said the U.S. seeks to “make the Venezuelan military nervous” by not publicly ruling out military action to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

“We think it is a mistake tactically to give them endless reassurances that there will never be American military action,” he said. “But I can tell you this is not what we are doing. What we are doing is exactly what you see, financial pressure, economic pressure, diplomatic pressure.”

The recording was made by two Russian comedians, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stoyarov, as one of the men posed as a Swiss official speaking with Abrams about efforts to seize Venezuelan bank accounts as part of an effort to compel Maduro to cede power to opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Trending:
Tragedy in Alabama: Nine Young Children, One Adult Dead After 'Most Horrific Accident' in County History

The comedians are known for prank calls with public officials and celebrities, including one with the former British foreign secretary last year. The Abrams recording was released online and published by Russian media Wednesday.

Asked for comment, the State Department said in an email that “we are well aware in general, and were aware in this case, of Russia’s propaganda playbook and the lengths they will go to prop up the Maduro regime.”

U.S. policy, it said, is “to support democracy in Venezuela, to support the National Assembly, which is the only democratically-elected part of the government.”

The U.S. and more than 50 governments have recognized Guaido, the leader of the National Assembly, as interim president, insisting that Maduro was not legitimately re-elected last year to lead the once-prosperous nation.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation