Maduro: “Let’s not permit a new Vietnam in Latin America”
Embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro has posted a video in Spanish to social media, warning that there would be a new “Vietnam” in Venezuela if the United States doesn’t change course.
“A campaign has been prepared to justify a coup d’etat in Venezuela, which has been prepared, financed and supported actively by the Donald Trump administration,” Maduro says in the four-minute video. “If the U.S. intends to invade us, they will have a Vietnam worse than they can imagine. Let’s not allow violence.
“Let’s not permit a new Vietnam in Venezuela,” Maduro says in the video, posted on Facebook at 11:14 p.m. Tuesday and directed at the American public.
The warning came as the Venezuelan crisis escalated, with at least 40 demonstrators killed in anti-government protests and some 850 arrested, according to NGO figures.
The country’s political turmoil has been escalating since Jan. 23 when Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president, a move supported by the United States and a growing number of nations. Two days earlier, an uprising led by a National Guard platoon was aborted near the presidential palace.
Speaking in Spanish, Maduro asked U.S. citizens to oppose Trump’s plans “so that there is not a new Vietnam in our America, I request peace and respect for Venezuela.”
Two journalists with television experience said the the video appeared to use “green screen” or some other effect to make Maduro appear to be in the courtyard of the Miraflores Presidential Palace. Maduro’s last known whereabouts was inside an Army base, where he was supervising military drills.
Maduro said the international media was misrepresenting Venezuela’s reality to set the stage for an invasion.
“A brutal campaign has been mounted using false imagery, tricked imagery…don’t believe everything you see on U.S. television or media,” he said. “Every day they are inventing an image, news, like a pack of hounds, to justify an intervention.”
Maduro, who has been successful in the past at dividing the Venezuelan opposition, asked the people of the United States to turn their backs on Trump and side with him.