Brazil, EU say military intervention in Venezuela must be avoided

Brazil, EU say military intervention in Venezuela must be avoided

BRASILIA: Brazil’s vice president, retired general Hamilton Mourão, said on Monday that under no circumstances would his country allow the United States to intervene militarily in Venezuela from Brazilian territory.

Brasil's statement followed a statement by the European Union urging countries to avoid any military intervention in Venezuela.

In an interview with Globo News cable channel, Mourão said Brazil will do all it can to avoid a conflict with neighboring Venezuela. He spoke from Bogotá, where he attended a meeting of the Lima Group, a bloc of nations from Argentina to Canada dedicated to peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan crisis. 

Mourao said Brazilian officials “believe in diplomatic and international economic pressure.”

Mourao's statement came as US Vice President Mike Pence met with regional leaders about Venezuela and said that “all options are on the table.”

Pence, Mourao and several other top leaders were in the Colombian capital of Bogota for a meeting of the so-called “Lima Group.”

The group is a 14-nation coalition of mostly conservative Latin American nations and Canada that has joined together to pressure President Nicolas Maduro to leave power.

The meeting comes two days after a US-backed effort to deliver humanitarian across the border from Colombia and Brazil ended in violence.

Pence also met with opposition congressional leader Juan Guaido, who has declared presidential powers, arguing that the re-election of socialist President Nicolas Maduro was invalid.

Pence said the US has sent five military transport planes with 400 tons of food and medicine to Colombia and Brazil.

Deadly clashes erupted over the weekend when Maduro refused to allow the aid cross, calling it part of a US-led coup.

In Brussels, Belgium, the European Union has reached a stand to allow or a " peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution of this crisis.”

“This obviously excludes the use of force", said Maja Kocijancic, the spokeswoman for diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini, told reporters. 

Venezuela’s opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaido is in Bogota for talks with allies in the regional Lima Group of countries on measures to compel President Nicolas Maduro to leave office.

The EU reached its position at a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels last Monday.

On Sunday, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borell told the Efe news agency: “We have warned quite clearly that we wil not support and we will firmly condemn any foreign military intervention.”

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