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Forced entry of aid to Venezuela could lead to war, say Italian lawmakers

Rome, Feb 22 (IANS/AKI) The deadline set by US President Donald Trump and Venezuela’s opposition leader and self-declared interim President Juan Guaido for the military to allow humanitarian aid into the crisis-hit country could spark perilous conflict, Senators from Italy’s ruling 5-Star Movement said.

“We are alarmed and worried by the real risk of a military escalation in Venezuela’s political crisis, which risks starting a very dangerous war for the region’s and for global stability,” a statement from 5-Star lawmakers on the Senate’s foreign affairs committee said.

The forcible entry of US humanitarian aid convoys at the Colombian border, planned by opposition leader Guaido on Saturday and opposed by the regime of embattled leftist President Nicolas Maduro and his armed forces “risk triggering incidents with unpredictable consequences,” the statement warned.

“The increasingly threatening declarations by US President Trump and unconfirmed reports that American special forces had already been deployed on the Columbian side of the border are alarming,” it added.

The Senators “fully supported” European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini’s statement on Monday in which she said the bloc ruled out support for any military escalation in Venezuela, according to the statement.

The lawmakers said they were confident the Italian government would “do its utmost” to avert a military escalation in Venezuela, the statement concluded.

With the Venezuelan crisis nearing a showdown, Trump stepped up his rhetoric on Monday, warning the Venezuelan military in a speech to abandon Maduro or “lose everything.”



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