CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on the political conflict in Venezuela (all times local):
Spain’s acting foreign minister says the U.S. government’s approach to Venezuela’s crisis is “like a western cowboy” who is threatening to draw his gun.
Josep Borrell says the Latin American country needs “a peaceful, negotiated and democratic solution” to its problems.
Borrell told Spanish public broadcaster TVE on Wednesday that Spain and other European countries “will continue to reject any pressure that borders on military intervention” in Venezuela.
U.S. officials have repeatedly said that “all options are on the table” as they weigh how to remove socialist President Nicolás Maduro from power.
Both Spain and the United States have recognized congress leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president. They say Maduro’s re-election last year was fraudulent.
The U.S. has lifted sanctions on a top Venezuelan general who broke ranks with President Nicolás Maduro, trying to help the opposition regain momentum in the face of a government crackdown following last week’s failed uprising.
Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech Tuesday that the immediate lifting of financial sanctions for Gen. Manuel Figuera is intended to encourage others in the military to abandon their support for Maduro.
The Treasury Department says the move involving Venezuela’s former spy chief is a display of “good faith” designed to elicit “concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order” by dozens of other sanctioned Venezuelan insiders.
Figuera was the sole regime insider to defy Maduro during the uprising called for by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, whom the U.S. considers the country’s legitimate president.