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American Resistance To Empire

US SOUTHCOM Chief Refutes Pompeo Claims About US Readiness For Aggression Against Venezuela

U.S. Military Chief Pushes Back on Pompeo’s Assertion of Venezuela Intervention

The U.S. military is preparing traditional plans for the unrest in Venezuela, but they do not include direct intervention in the political process, the U.S. Southern Command chief says.

By Paul D. Shinkman, Senior National Security Writer

U.S. Military Pushes Back on Pompeo Venezuela Claims

US Admiral of the Southern Command Craig Faller speaks during a press conference on the military cooperation with Ecuador, in Quito on April 25, 2019. (Photo by RODRIGO BUENDIA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images)

“Our leadership’s been clear,” U.S. Southern Command chief Navy Adm. Craig Faller told the House Armed Services Committee, May 1, 2019. “It has to be, should be, a democratic transition.” (RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

THE U.S. MILITARY’S TOP officer for operations in South America pushed back Wednesday against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s suggestions earlier in the day that the White House is considering military options to expedite the overthrow of the embattled Maduro regime in Venezuela.

“Our leadership’s been clear,” U.S. Southern Command chief Navy Adm. Craig Faller told the House Armed Services Committee. “It has to be, should be, a democratic transition.”

The military is preparing for non-combat options, he said, amid the widespread civil unrest in the oil-rich Latin American nation as opposition leader Juan Guaido continues his calls for public support for his claims on the presidency.

The admiral’s comments came hours after Pompeo for the first time raised the possibility of military intervention in Venezuela to back Guaido, whom the Trump administration supports.

“The president has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent – military action is possible, if that’s what’s required – that’s what the United States will do,” Pompeo told FOX Business.

A spokeswoman for Faller later told U.S. News that his position ultimately aligns with Pompeo’s.

“Our leadership has been very clear that all options are on the table, although a peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela is preferred,” Army Col. Amanda Azubuike said in an emailed statement. “At the same time, Adm. Faller has said on numerous occasions we remain ready ‘on the balls of our feet’ should we get the call.”

Faller told the committee that the military has been focused on working with regional partners, sharing intelligence and information to better understand “the complexity of the problem” on the ground in Venezuela, including the “horrific starvation,” which Faller said affects 90 percent of the population.

U.S. forces have also made preparations to evacuate non-combatants and to protect Americans still in Venezuela, Faller said.

Faller offered additional details to other countries’ involvement in Venezuela. Russia has provided what he called “lifelines” in the form of financial loans, technical support and rhetoric to back the Maduro regime. He described Cuban resources in Venezuela as “ever present.” National security adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday the U.S. estimates as many as 25,000 Cuban security forces are operating in Venezuela to bolster the regime.

Paul D. Shinkman, Senior National Security Writer

Paul D. Shinkman is a national security reporter for U.S. News & World Report

Dept. of State Lies Wants World To Forget US/INDIA/AFGHAN Sponsorship of TTP Terrorists

Proving Pakistan Right…Afghanistan Is Harboring Hostile TTP Terrorists

Top US Gen. Admits That 70% of “ISIS” In Afghanistan Actually TTP, Pakistani Taliban

Pentagon/CIA Repackages Afghan Govt. Terrorist Force As “The Renouncers”–(updated)

NYT Highlights Taliban Split and Afghan Govt Sponsorship of Mullah Rasoul Faction–(updated)

No support to terror proxies, separatism in Pakistan: US

Wells says any terrorist attacking Pakistan is US enemy Welcomes Pak efforts for bringing Afghans together for peace talks, It is critical that the nations of this region respect each other and work to achieve peace and economic growth”

ISLAMABAD – US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice Wells on Tuesday said the United States respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan and would never support terrorist proxies or separatism against it.

She was responding to a question regarding India using Afghan soil to create insurgency in Pakistan, at a media interaction held here at the US Embassy.

Ambassador Wells, who arrived here Monday on a two-day visit, during her stay met key government officials including finance adviser, foreign secretary, interior secretary and the army chief to discuss bilateral agenda and regional security including joint efforts to advance Afghan peace process.

When sought comments on reports of Indian funding to Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, Ambassador Wells said the US did not support any separatist or irredentist movement.

“It is critical that the nations of this region respect each other and work to achieve peace and economic growth,” she said.

Under the Financial Action Task Force plan, she expressed hope that Pakistan would make efforts to meet the specific requirements including identification of high-risk threats in society and denying them the ability to fund-raise and organise.

She said the US had been actively working with Pakistan to combat terrorism, whether it was Al-Qaeda or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. “Any terrorist attacking Pakistan is an enemy of ours. We share very strong counter-terrorism objective in defeating extremist forces,” she stressed.

On implementation of National Action Plan (NAP), she said the steps briefed by the Pakistan government to the diplomatic community were positive regarding the detention of leaders of proscribed groups and seizure of assets. “We certainly believe what peace brings economic growth and stability, which conforms with the Prime Minister’s agenda of Naya Pakistan aspiring development,” she said.

She welcomed PM Imran Khan’s statements underscoring his government’s commitment to moving away from non-state actors through forging the NAP and said “Pakistan’s future course requires that the state itself controls all means of force.”

On UNSC’s deadlock on proscribing Maulana Masood Azhar following China’s veto, she said the US believed that designation of terrorist should be technical in nature and added that “We encourage the parties to move forward and reaffirm the centrality of UN’s role in designating terrorists.”

On US’ concerns on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Ambassador Wells said the US welcomed the development, however believed that the infrastructure and investment needed to meet international standard, with transparency and sustainability.

She said the apprehensions were not Pakistan-specific as the US had also expressed voice with regard to other countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Ambassador Wells, who accompanied US Special Representative on Afghanistan Peace Zalmay Khalilzad during his meetings with officials in Islamabad, said Pakistan would benefit more than any other country if peace comes to this region.

She welcomed the support of government of Pakistan for bringing Afghans together for peace dialogue, adding that the Prime Minister’s recent strong statement in support of reduction of violence in Afghanistan was encouraging.

To a question on India’s lukewarm response to Pakistan’s peace efforts, Wells said regional disputes hindered the ability of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) to play an effective role in region’s prosperity and growth.

The US welcomes Prime Minister Imran Khan’s open desire for better relations with India, she added.

On Kashmir issue, she said, “We support efforts by Pakistan and India, but it is up to them to pace up discussions.”

Ambassador Wells rejected the impression of receding Pak-US trade ties and said, “Our trade relationship is extremely healthy as we remain Pakistan’s largest export market with bilateral trade reached at highest level with US6.6 billion US and Pakistani exports increased by four percent.”

She termed freedom of expression as vital part of democracy, quoting example of her country where press and activists could express opinion freely as a check on abuse of power and a mirror that can be held up to government practices.

Monitoring Desk adds: US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has concluded two days of official discussions in Pakistan on how to advance the Afghan peace process. “Ambassador Khalilzad requested and received support for the need to accelerate intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations as well as a reduction in violence, concrete steps necessary for a comprehensive settlement,” the US embassy noted Tuesday in a post-visit statement.